… is from page 89 of the May 9th, 2020, draft of the important monograph – forthcoming in October jointly from the Adam Smith Institute and AIER – by Deirdre McCloskey and Alberto Mingardi, The Myth of the Entrepreneurial State (footnote deleted):
And there is the ethical problem. Assumed omniscience and omnipotence on the part of planners typically goes along with a lack of ethical reflection. We ask: where do you get off, Ms. Economist, in thinking that you are qualified in science or entitled in justice to lord it over free adults?
DBx: This question about the ethics of coercing peaceful people to spend and invest in ways that they would otherwise not spend and invest has always struck me as foundational and obvious. Yet almost no one, other than classical liberals and libertarians, ask this question. Questions unasked are questions unanswered.
How strange and how sad that this question is so seldom asked.