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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 205 of the final (2016) volume – Bourgeois Equality [2] – of Deirdre McCloskey [3]’s pioneering trilogy on the essence of bourgeois values, on their transmission, and on their essential role in modern life (footnote deleted; links added):

In 2011 the economist Peter Boettke, commenting [4] on a pessimistic book by Tyler Cowen [5], argued that Cowen is merely showing that the economy involves a continuing struggle among the Three Ss: Stupidity, Schumpeter [6], and Smith [7].  Clearly, Stupidity runs much of our private and especially our public lives – and keeps economists and family counselors fully employed.  Boettke would argue (because by historical accident for quite a while after the New Deal there were powerful Schumpeterian and Smithian offsets to Stupidity) people have come to believe in magic – that spending causes growth or that obstructing by act of Congress deals among people makes people better off.