Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 18, 2013

in Politics, Reality Is Not Optional

… from page 240 of the late David Osterfeld’s superb 1992 book, Prosperity Versus Planning (original emphasis):

In contrast to the competitive economic sphere, where adjustments are marginal, that is, each individual is able to evaluate each transaction separately, adjustments in the political sphere are holistic.  All individuals residing within the jurisdiction of the same political unit must deal with the same agent, namely the government.  A very important but too often overlooked issue is not so much how decisions are made or even who is consulted in the decision-making process, but the scope of the decision, once made.  The democratic process must ultimately result in the selection of one alternative from an indeterminate number of possible alternatives and adopt it in the name of, and impose it upon, the entire society.  Whether that alternative reflects the interests of an intense minority, and intense majority, or even an authentic majority is immaterial.  Those whose preferences are not incorporated into government policy cannot, as is generally the case with the market, satisfy their preferences by taking their business elsewhere.

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