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Quotation of the Day…

… is today a repeat, but a repeat that is warranted because a herd of intellectuals and politicians, left and right, is now grazing on some psychotic substance that creates the delusion that government officials are sufficiently informed and benevolent to be trusted with the power to override market processes with industrial policy; this timely quotation is from Book IV, chapter 2, paragraph 10 of Adam Smith’s magisterial 1776 work, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations:

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

DBx: The very same arrogance, of course, is found in intellectuals who insist that politicians be given this dangerous power.


June 5th is given on Adam Smith’s grave as the date of his birth in 1723.