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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 106 of John Mueller’s superb 1999 book, Capitalism, Democracy, & Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery [2]:

Moreover, there is very often a political dilemma in the fact that the people who will benefit in the long run from the economists’ advice don’t know who they are while those who will be disadvantaged in the short run know this only too well and are quick to scream.

DBx: Yes

The notion that government officials specifically, and political processes generally, take a longer-run perspective than do private-property-based free markets is more absurd than is the belief that reindeer – some of whom have shiny red noses – can fly. Tell the tale if you wish; it does have a certain childish charm. But you’re a fool to actually swallow it.

Armen Alchian [3] often wrote of his belief that the free-market system is called “capitalism” because the anticipated long-run consequences of today’s decisions made regarding the uses of private property are capitalized in the prices of the different units of private property. The share price of Apple, Inc., would plummet immediately if Tim Cook were to announce that in June he will liquidate half of Apple’s assets simply to make a huge cash distribution to Apple shareholders because of the financial distress that many of these shareholders suffered as a result of the Covid lockdowns.

Government is not about doing or dispensing justice. Nor is it about improving the allocation of resources. (Ha!) It’s overwhelmingly about power. Raw, venal, nasty power – the work of Satan camouflaged as the work of Santa.

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