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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 420 of the late University of Washington economist Paul Heyne’s insightful 2000 paper “The Morality of Labor Unions,” as this paper is reprinted in the 2008 collection of Heyne’s writings, “Are Economists Basically Immoral?” and Other Essays on Economics, Ethics, and Religion (Geoffrey Brennan and A.M.C. Waterman, eds.):

When greater competence means higher costs, greater competence will not always be preferable. We should not send a boy to do a man’s job, as the old saying has it; neither should we send a man to do a boy’s job. A system that guarantees competence can easily become a system that forces people to pay for more than they really want or require. A pretended dedication to public safety or consumer protection, by business firms even more than craft unions, has often functioned as the justification for government-enforced restrictions on competition.

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