Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on January 8, 2016

in Economics

… is from page 418 of the 1975 HarperPerennial printing of the third (1950) edition of Joseph Schumpeter‘s profound 1942 volume, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy; specifically, it’s from Schumpeter’s final, unfinished-on-his-death article, “The March Into Socialism”; Schumpeter died 66 years ago today:

The best method of satisfying ourselves as to how far this process of disintegration of capitalist society has gone is to observe the extent to which its implications are being taken for granted both by the business class itself and by the large number of economists who feel themselves to be opposed to (one hundred per cent) socialism and are in the habit of denying the existence of any tendency toward it.  To speak of the latter only, they accept not only unquestioningly but also approvingly: (1) the various stabilization policies which are to prevent recessions or at least depressions, that is, a large amount of public management of business situations even if not the principle of full employment; (2) the “desirability of greater equality of incomes,” rarely defining how far short of absolute equality they are prepared to go, and in connection with this the principle of redistributive taxation; (3) a rich assortment of regulative measures, frequently rationalized by antitrust slogans, as regards prices; (4) public control, though within a wide range of variation, over the labor and money market; (5) indefinite extension of the sphere of wants that are, now or eventually, to be satisfied by public enterprise, either gratis or on some post-office principle; and (6) of course all types of security legislation.

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