Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on May 6, 2016

in Competition, Prices

… is from page 221 of the 1976 Liberty Fund edition of John Chamberlain’s useful 1959 book, The Roots of Capitalism (link added):

The test of an economic system lies in the choices it offers, the alternatives that are open to the people living under it.  When choices are limited by coercion of one sort or another, the system must fall short of meeting the test in greater or less degree.  The virtue of a free system – i.e., competitive capitalism – is that it allows energy to flow uncoerced into a thousand-and-one different forms, expanding goods, services, and jobs in a myriad, unpredictable ways.  Every day, under such a system, a consumer’s plebiscite (the phrase is [Ludwig] von Mises‘) is held, the vote being counted in whatever money unit is the handiest.  With his votes the consumer directs production, forcing or luring energy, brains and capital to obey his will.


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