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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 99 of my colleague Dick Wagner’s latest, just-published book, Politics as a Peculiar Business:

The entitlements of the welfare state can be summarized by Herbert Hoover’s aphorism: “a chicken in every pot.”  True, this is quite small an entitlement, but would be easy enough to multiply the level of the guarantee.  In his address on the battlefield of Gettysburg in 1863, Abraham Lincoln recognized that the first American constitutional document entitled Americans to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and nothing more.  Chickens in pots and other entitlements came later.  Perhaps the most significant quality of the theory of economic equilibrium is its explanation of the interconnected quality of all economic activity within society.  Whatever statement that is made in the context of a product [output] market implies come complementary and consistent statement about the factor [input] market that would render sensible that statement made about the product market.  Therefore, an entitlement program that offers a chicken in every pot would require an equivalent statement that promised a period of servile labor to staff the chicken farms necessary to put chickens in pots.

Here’s a short video that summarizes the important message of Dick’s new book.