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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 154 of the 2016 Mercatus Center re-issue of my late colleague Don Lavoie’s superb 1985 volume National Economic Planning: What Is Left?:

50430762imports-enWhile the immediate beneficiaries of jobs via government spending are usually easily identifiable, the specific people who lose their jobs because of the indirect effects of tax collection on saving and consumption are virtually impossible to identify.

DBx:  Yes.  And, of course, the very same is true for the beneficiaries of jobs created by trade barriers.  These beneficiaries are almost always easily seen.  But those who suffer as a result of these government-granted special privileges – namely, consumers who pay higher prices and workers who are kept in lower-paying jobs – are invisible.  Only (some) economists see these invisible victims, these forgotten men and women.

Politicians and economically uninformed pundits point with pride to the jobs and fake prosperity they “create” with their stimulus spending and their taxes on those who purchase goods assembled outside of the domestic economy.  Only (some) economists and the small fraction of the general public who understand the economic way of thinking see the suffering, impoverishment, and injustice behind the practice of using force to ‘stimulate’ demand for existing, visible, and politically influential producers.


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