Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on September 25, 2016

in Hubris and humility, Prices, Reality Is Not Optional, Seen and Unseen

… is from page 18 of Arnold Kling’s splendid new book (2016), Specialization and Trade: A Re-introduction to Economics:

[T]he price system guides the economy toward sustainable use of resources.  In contrast, individuals who attempt to override the price system through their individual choices or by imposing government regulations can easily miscalculate the costs of their actions.

Common examples of people who display such hubris and who commit such miscalculation include, but are not limited to, proponents

– of minimum wages

– of tariffs and of “infant-industry” protection

– of subsidies of all sorts, including the export subsidies doled out by that great geyser of cronyism, the U.S. Export-Import Bank

– of price ceilings, including rent control and prohibitions on so-called “price gouging”

– of buying local as a means of improving the local economy or of helping the environment

– of recycling of the sort that is politically correct today (Although much recycling is indeed sensible; such sensible recycling is encouraged by market prices.)


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