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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 50-51 of the great economic historian T.S. Ashton’s 1951 paper “The Treatment of Capitalism by Historians,” which is chapter 1 of the 1954 volume edited by Hayek, Capitalism and the Historians (footnote omitted); Ashton is here talking about late-18th- and early-19th-century England:

If the towns were ridden with disease, some at least of the responsibility lay with legislators who, by taxing windows, put a price on light and air and, by taxing bricks and tiles, discouraged the construction of drains and sewers.  Those who dwell on the horrors that arose from the fact that the products of the sewers often got mixed up with the drinking water, and attribute this, as all other horrors, to the Industrial Revolution, should be reminded of the obvious fact that without the iron pipe, which was one of the products of that revolution, the problem of enabling people to live a healthy life together in towns could never have been solved.


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