≡ Menu

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 83 of an advance copy of Samuel Gregg’s excellent and important forthcoming book, The Next American Economy: Nation, State, and Markets in an Uncertain World:

There is also something perverse about using the state to encourage people to produce goods and services that fewer and fewer people want or need, or to stay in jobs being rendered redundant by technology. It is the equivalent of a very wealthy person deciding to purchase secretly all the cars made by an American car manufacturer but insisting on anonymity because he doesn’t want the producer and his employees to know that no one wants or needs their cars anymore. Should they discover that their products and their jobs are effectively supported by charity, it’s reasonable to suppose that the satisfaction which they gained from producing unwanted and unneeded cars would be radically diminished.

DBx: Yes!

Bas van der Vossen and Jason Brennan, in 2018, made a complementary argument, which I highlighted here.

The fundamental point is that “to produce” means “to satisfy the most urgent consumption desires.” It’s a fundamental point that is missed by Oren Cass and some other advocates of industrial policy.