Bonus Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on September 18, 2018

in Myths and Fallacies, Trade

… is from page 345 of the 1990 Transaction Publishers reprint of W.H. Hutt‘s 1936 book, Economists and the Public:

We must probably wait for a more enlightened age before we can hope for the acceptance of the proposition that in the condition of natural and uncontrived scarcities we have the only conceivable acceptable criterion of distributive justice.

DBx: So true.

Alas, although 82 years have passed since these above words were first published, our age is no more obviously enlightened than was that of the 1930s. The president of the United States, many of his advisors, hordes of his supporters, and even legions of his political opponents continue to believe that the high prices and wages that result from artificially contrived scarcity – from scarcity made greater than it would be absent government-engineered contrivances – make society as a whole more prosperous. Intellectually and ethically, this error is on par with observing the pilfered loot possessed by a successful thief and concluding from this observation that society as a whole would be wealthier if everyone were a thief.

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