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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from pages 80-81 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James M. Buchanan [2]‘s 2005 book, Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative: The Normative Vision of Classical Liberalism [3]:

Interpreting the market culture as community allows classical liberals to respond readily to modern communitarian critics of market capitalism who charge that the market order is destructive of valued cultural traditions.  These critics concentrate on the destruction of one set of cultural rules while neglecting the role of a well-functioning market in the construction of an alternative set of rules, adherence to which signifies the presence of an alternative community, one that is both more inclusive and more productive of economic value.

By the way, among the foundational rules of the market order is ‘producers work for consumers’ (and not ‘consumers work for producers’).  Put differently, individuals as producers are obliged – if and to the extent that they wish to earn market incomes – to adjust their activities to the spending patterns of consumers; individuals as consumers are not obliged – and ought not be forced – to adjust their spending patterns to the activities of producers.  Therefore, proponents of tariffs and other trade restrictions (including occupational-licensing requirements) are proponents of rule-breaking: they want select individuals – in their roles as producers – to be exempt from the rule that requires producers to serve consumers.

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