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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 187-188 of the late Columbia University economist Donald Dewey’s excellent 1975 intermediate price-theory text, Microeconomics: The Analysis of Prices and Markets:

41qiggpekil-_sx331_bo1204203200_Presumably the authors of the Clayton Act wished to convey that people who sell labor services should be entitled to more “protection” from the law than people who provide other factor inputs in the production process.

Quotation marks enclosing “protection” are used because restrictions on the sale of labor services that benefit some workers usually harm other workers.  Thus many states once had laws prohibiting the employment of women in certain jobs in order to protect their health and morals.  No doubt the laws over the years did save some especially vulnerable women from dangerous machines and wily procurers but only by restricting the employment opportunities of other women who neither needed nor desired such protection.


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