Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on June 8, 2017

in Crony Capitalism, Doux Commerce

… is from pages 3-4 of the late Oxford economist Thomas Wilson’s 1950 volume, Modern Capitalism and Economic Progress:

The capitalist era for all of its defects has been one of the rare and precious periods in human history when the individual has enjoyed a high degree of liberty and respect.  Freedom of speech and of the press, freedom of worship, freedom from arbitrary arrest – all these privileges have been enjoyed by rich and poor, and have been exercised not least by those critics who held them to be of no account.  As a ruling class, the capitalists have clearly behaved in a very different way from other ruling classes, such as the Nazis in Germany or the Communists in Russia.  The capitalists, indeed, have consisted of a large number of scattered individuals who competed with each other and rarely acted as a disciplined group.

DBx: Capitalists act as a disciplined group preying upon workers and consumers only if they succeed in persuading the state to orchestrate and oversee such predations.  Tariffs, occupational licensing, and other state interventions  – typically cheered naively by “Progressives” as “victories” for the People – are all too often the means used by producer groups to steal what does not belong to them.


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