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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 290 of Volume 1 (Virginia Political Economy [2004]) of the Selected Works of Gordon Tullock; specifically, it’s from Gordon’s 1980 Presidential address – “The Rhetoric and Reality of Redistribution” – to the Southern Economic Association:

Economists have for a long time talked about government as a mechanism for providing public goods or dealing with externalities.  It undeniably does this, but in order to do so it must have coercive powers, and the use of these coercive powers to benefit people in terms of their political influence seems an obvious thing to expect from profit maximizing individuals.

Gordon died on Monday at the age of 92.