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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 1 of Liberty Fund’s 2011 edition of Israel Kirzner’s 1963 textbook, Market Theory and the Price System (original emphasis):

In a predominantly free society, individuals are in most respects at liberty to act as they choose. That is, in such a society an individual is generally at liberty to take advantage of any opportunity (as he perceives the existence such an opportunity) in order to improve his position (as he understands the idea of improving his position). He is free to act in isolation, and he is free to engage in acts of exchange with other individuals (whenever he and some other individuals both perceive the opportunity of mutual benefit through trade).

DBx: Proponents of industrial policy and other advocates of protective tariffs and subsidies dislike this freedom. They dislike it because it results in patterns of economic activity that fail to tickle their fancies.

Each of these officious intermeddlers is so arrogant as to believe that if the complex pattern of production and consumption that emerges from individuals spending and investing their own money appears on its surface to be less ideal than is some pattern that the officious intermeddler can dream up in his or her brain, then he or she – the intermeddler – is entitled to recommend that government force millions of individuals to stop acting as each chooses and to start behaving as the intermeddler demands.

The haughtiness – the arrogance – is breathtaking. The world would be a more civilized and prosperous place were all such intermeddlers to mind their own business.