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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 3 of Stanley Lebergott’s important 1993 volume, Pursuing Happiness: American Consumers in the Twentieth Century:

Economic activity aims not for output, but for experience via consumption.

The truth of this insight is one reason why empirical data such as “national income,” “per-capita income,” “the income share of the lowest quintile,” “the average real wage rate of production and non-supervisory workers,” “the median compensation of CEOs,” you name it, will always be imperfect measures of an economy’s performance.  Put differently, the truth of Lebergott’s insight is one of many reasons why it is scientism of the most naive sort to suppose that the economy is only that which is, or can be, measured quantitatively – or that we ‘know,’ or are speaking scientifically about, the economy only insofar as we know that which has been quantified about the economy.