Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on April 24, 2013

in Hubris and humility, Politics

… is from page xxii of the 1980 Cato Institute reprint of Steven N.S. Cheung’s 1978 IEA monograph, The Myth of Social Cost (original emphasis):

[G]overnment should not be assumed to command more knowledge than the individuals affected.  The latter, at least in the absence of the free-rider problem, have every incentive to inform themselves.  Government – politicians and bureaucrats – will do so only if votes are at stake.  In general, government may prove to be willing to intervene, once accorded the power, in response to decisive voter groupings and dominant pressure groups and irrespective of the underlying efficiency criterion of the public interest.

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