… is from page 13 of Deirdre McCloskey’s August 2019 manuscript titled “Bettering Humanomics: Beyond Behaviorism and Neo-Institutionalism ” (footnote deleted):
Monopoly or inequality or externality or informational asymmetry “exist,” to be sure. Some economists have been vigorous in measuring their local effects, on telephone pricing, say, or the imperfect market for defective horses or automobiles. But their national significance has been nothing like established in economic measurement. Posited externalities among other allegedly significant imperfections have been used without serious empirical inquiry in order to justify all manner of governmental actions. Listen to the rhetoric defending a new policy: we need regulation of this terrible, new imperfection, just as we have anti-trust policy against allegedly harmful “monopoly” by Amazon or tariff policy against allegedly harmful “dumping” by China. Meanwhile the highly “imperfect” economy has yielded a rise of income for the poorest of . . . wait for the news from economics history . . . 3,000 percent. An economy riven with terrible imperfections has yielded a rise by a factor of 30 in the ability of the poorest among us to buy goods and services, a Great Enrichment. Hmm. In Yiddish syntax: some imperfections!