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Quotation of the Day…

is from pages 604-605 of volume 2 of The Collected Works of Armen A. Alchian (2006); specifically, it’s from Alchian‘s 1977 essay “Economic Laws and Political Legislation”:

Economics does not say any activities are bad and hence ought to be stopped.  It says if you want to restrain them, you can raise the price – the cost of doing that action.  Still, behavior in a capitalistic system is, by definition, more difficult to control by political authority because private property gives us more extensive authority over our lifestyles.  That is why, whatever the legislated law, it does not follow that its intent will be achieved.  Legislated law is overpowered by economic laws of capitalism, which often nullify or pervert intended effects.  So political forces are more and more designed to reduce the scope of private property rights, a bleak future.