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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 3 of Robert Sugden’s 1986 volume, The Economics of Rights, Cooperation and Welfare (original emphasis):

Most modern economic theory describes a world presided over by a government (not, significantly, by governments) and sees this world through the government’s eyes.  The government is supposed to have the responsibility, the will and the power to restructure society in whatever way maximizes social welfare; like the US Cavalry in a good Western, the government stands ready to rush to the rescue whenever the market ‘fails’, and the economist’s job is to advise it on when and how to do so.  Private individuals, in contrast, are credited with little or no ability to solve collective problems among themselves.  This makes for a distorted view of some important economic and political issues.