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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 118 of Deirdre McCloskey’s splendid 1993 collection, Second Thoughts: Myths and Morals of U.S. Economic History; specifically, it’s from Chapter 15, which is Jonathan Hughes’s essay “Do Americans Want Big Government?”:

The institutions and habits of nonmarket control have always been present at the state and local government levels, where they are often flexible, amenable, friendly, and congenial.  In raising those powers to the federal level, however, we have created a monster, and we have not found a way to reform it or even to control it.

I add only that one should heed Bryan Caplan and avoid over-romanticizing the loveliness of local governments, especially today when the sizes of the populations governed by many local governments in the United States are approaching – and in some cases have surpassed – the size of the population of the entire United States in 1789.