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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 38 of Steve Landsburg’s insightful 1997 book, Fair Play (original emphasis; link added):

A few years ago I published a book called The Armchair Economist in which I argued that bipartisanship in Congress should be treated as a violation of antitrust law.  We don’t allow the presidents of United and American Airlines to conspire against the public; why should we allow the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties to conspire?  I got a note back from a copy editor asking whether there wasn’t actually a key difference, in the sense that the airline presidents are conspiring to break laws, while the politicians are conspiring to make laws.  I wrote back, asking if he had any historical evidence as to which of these activities was more likely to be harmful.  My guess is that making laws is on average worse than breaking them.

(Of course, by “laws” Steve here means “legislation” – for the state makes, not law, but legislation.)