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Quotation of the Day…

Posted By Don Boudreaux On December 9, 2013 @ 8:05 am In Civil Society,Growth,Standard of Living | Comments Disabled

… is from page 140 of Ludwig von Mises [1]‘s 1951 essay “Profit and Loss [2],” as reprinted in the 1980 reissue of Mises’s 1952 collection, Planning for Freedom [3]:

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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URLs in this post:

[1] Ludwig von Mises: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Mises.html

[2] Profit and Loss: http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=2200&chapter=203742&layout=html&Itemid=27

[3] Planning for Freedom: http://www.amazon.com/Planning-Freedom-Market-System-Ludwig/dp/0865976619/ref=la_B000APA2Y4_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386594163&sr=1-16

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