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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 23 of Vol. 12 – Economic Inquiry and Its Logic (2000) – of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan; specifically, it’s from Jim’s December 1976 Liberty Fund lecture “General Implications of Subjectivism in Economics” (original emphasis):

The principle that exposure to economics should convey is that of the spontaneous coordination which the market achieves.  The central principle of economics is not the economizing process; it is not the maximization of objective functions subject to constraints.  Once we become methodologically trapped in the maximization paradigm, economics becomes mathematics or engineering.

Here, by the way, is Sheldon Richman writing on Jim Buchanan’s subjectivist economics.