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Quotation of the Day…

Posted By Don Boudreaux On September 29, 2013 @ 7:13 am In Reality Is Not Optional | Comments Disabled

… is from Milton Friedman; specifically, it’s from page 41 of the transcript of a May 2004 conversation between Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution; this transcript is printed in the superb 2009 volume,¬†Peter Bauer and the Economics of Prosperity [1],¬†James A. Dorn & Barun S. Mitra, eds. (New Delhi: Academic Foundation):

Well, there are fewer limits on what you can promise than on what you can deliver.

Politicians specialize in exploring the outer boundaries of what can be promised; good economists (such as Friedman, Sowell, and Bauer) specialize in exploring the reality of what can be delivered.  Reality itself Рindifferent to the romantic fantasies of humans who act as if reality is optional Рspecializes in enforcing itself.

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[1] Peter Bauer and the Economics of Prosperity: http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Bauer-Economics-Prosperity-James/dp/8171886655/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380452870&sr=1-1&keywords=peter+bauer+and+the+economics+of+prosperity

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