Bonus Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on December 18, 2017

in Economics, Myths and Fallacies

… is from page 189 of the 2008 Third Edition of the late Vincent Ostrom’s 1973 book, The Intellectual Crisis in American Public Administration:

In taking the perspective of an “omniscient observer,” an economist confines his or her use of an individualist calculus only to market structures and relies on an assumption that general policies affecting social welfare can be determined by an omniscient and omnicompetent despot who can maximize social utility by taking account of all utility preferences.

DBx: Amazingly, the use of this wholly unscientific and unjustified assumption about the knowledge and abilities possessed by government officials remains commonplace among economists.


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