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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 124-125 of the 1962 Gateway edition of David McCord Wright’s 1951 book, Capitalism (original emphasis); this book, you will not find surprising, is dedicated to Joseph Schumpeter:

The chance for an independent career is, we submit, one of the essential economic features which underwrite the superior productivity and inventiveness of capitalism.  And it so happens that the institution which furnishes a degree of independent opportunity is also the institution which is one of the most important supplements to effective political democracy.  That institution is the competitive market.  Because of competition and the fact that industry is not organized under a single hierarchy of authorities, men have a chance to transfer from one line to another.  This means that they are not forever at the mercy of a single directorate or group of associates.  But also because of competition a man with a new idea or technical combination has a chance to get it introduced without asking the consent of all those already in power.  Thus capitalism, while it is competitive, is likely to be over the long run both more productive and more democratic than a planned system.  The planned system may give a more “rational” and more smooth-running application of a given set of techniques, but it will not make for comparable continued growth.


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