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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 99 of John Mueller’s excellent 1999 book, Capitalism, Democracy, & Ralph’s Pretty Good Grocery (original emphasis):

The remarkable economic expansion of the past has taken place substantially by accident or default: it was not notably guided by government policy – indeed, it frequently took place despite government policy.

DBx: Of course, by “accident or default” Mueller here means that the rate of economic growth and overall breadth of improvement in living standards were not not the result of any conscious plan or design. But, of course, each individual actor – each entrepreneur, each business manager, each financier, each worker, each consumer – acted purposefully. Each individual intended his or her own gain, guided by what Mueller would want me to emphasize as enlightened self-interest (which is emphatically not greed). One important overall, emergent result – undesigned and undesignable – was our modern, enormously high standard of living.