… is from page 11 of the soon-to-be-published 2021 35th anniversary edition of Steven Rhoads’s 1985 book, The Economist’s View of the World: And the Quest for Well-Being:
The opportunity cost to society of taking from expanding industries the scarce investment capital needed to modernize declining textile and apparel industries is likely to be so high that the use of antiquated machinery by declining firms is perfectly efficient. Declining industries are always a sorry sight. Individuals who have not studied economics tend to blame the plight of such industries on their antiquated equipment and on the shortsighted management responsible for it. Economists see the equipment as the effect rather than the cause of the industry’s decline.