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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 175 of the hot-off-the-press final volume – Bourgeois Equality – of Deirdre McCloskey’s vital trilogy on the essence and role of bourgeois values in modern life (links added):

The notion that the Hanoverian state could be a “countervailing power” to monopoly would have struck an eighteenth-century Scot as hilarious.  After all, as [Adam] Smith repeatedly emphasized in his book about interests, the state had created the monopolies in the first place.  The state since then has not become less skilled at favoring one group of its citizens over another.  The bourgeois mercantilism of which Smith complained thrives still in appeals to buy American or to protect gigantic farms in North Dakota raising beet sugar or in the hundreds of occupations protected by state-issued licenses.

Tomorrow (Thursday, April 21st) on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus, I’ll have a conversation with Deirdre.