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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 210 of David Schmidtz’s superb essay “Adam Smith on Freedom,” which is chapter 13 in Ryan Patrick Hanley, ed., Adam Smith: His Life, Thought, and Legacy (2016):

Where Plato supposed the wealth of nations must ultimately depend on a guardian class assigning to each worker tasks appropriate to that worker’s nature, [Adam] Smith realized that no guardian class could ever know enough (or reliably care enough) to handle such a task. Only a price mechanism can track the incomprehensibly vast torrent of daily feedback from buyers and sellers regarding whether X is worth producing and if so where X needs to be shipped so as to reach consumers to whom X is worth what it costs to get it to them.