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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 82 of the original edition of Robert Higgs’s remarkable 1987 book, Crisis and Leviathan (footnote deleted; link added):

Though the post-Civil War era did not witness pure laissez-faire in the United States, it did see a limited government and an economy in which people had extensive freedom to enter into economic transactions of their own choosing on terms established by the transactors alone. As the legal historian Lawrence Friedman has expressed it, “Every new law on the statute books, if it dealt with the economy, was a cup of water withdrawn from the oceanic domain of the law of contract.”