Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on December 9, 2013

in Civil Society, Growth, Standard of Living

… is from page 140 of Ludwig von Mises‘s 1951 essay “Profit and Loss,” as reprinted in the 1980 reissue of Mises’s 1952 collection, Planning for Freedom:

There is no reason why capitalists and entrepreneurs should be ashamed of earning profits.  It is silly that some people try to defend American capitalism by declaring: “The record of American business is good; profits are not too high.”  The function of entrepreneurs is to make profits; high profits are the proof that they have well performed their task of removing maladjustments of production.

Of course, as a rule capitalists and entrepreneurs are not saints excelling in the virtue of self-denial.  But neither are their critics saintly.  And with all the regard due to the sublime self-effacement of saints, we cannot help stating the fact that the world would be in a rather desolate condition if it were peopled exclusively by men not interested in the pursuit of material well-being.

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