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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 25-26 of the Stanley Lebergott’s superb 1993 book, Pursuing Happiness: American Consumers in the Twentieth Century (footnote excluded):

Unfortunately, many moralists reject such varied consumer choices in the West by assuming that only costs matter.  They applaud diversity in cultures, politics, and education.  Yet they vigorously deplore the “cost” of variety in consumer markets.  Variety in religion has been accepted as an unshakeable right in the United States, which began this [20th] century with over 190 denominations.  Pluralism in politics is taken to be a constitutional right….

Is it surprising that consumers with such different beliefs and backgrounds seek different products in the market?  Or is it more surprising that moralists draw back in horror from the pell-mell variety that results?