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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 17-18 of the 2016 Mercatus Center re-issue of my late colleague Don Lavoie’s excellent 1985 volume National Economic Planning: What Is Left?:

The government does not play the role of agent for the social will but simply joins in the self-serving struggles of the private sphere.  The public sector interferes with the operation of the private sphere, making war with the private decision-making order, while the competing participants from the private sector respond and attempt to circumvent such interference, to engage in defensive maneuvers, to try to grab state power for themselves and use it against their competitors.

It is naive to expect government officials to be able to gather and process all the information and knowledge they must possess in order for the state to override market processes in ways that improve human well-being over time.  It is naive also to expect government officials always, or even generally, to aim to use what information and knowledge they do acquire to further the general welfare rather than to further the welfare of themselves or that of the particular slices of realities that capture their attentions.