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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 69 of Daniel Hannan’s 2010 book, The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America:

The New Deal Democrats, like many elected representatives today, were in the grip of one of the most dangerous of political fallacies: the idea that, at a time of crisis, the government’s response must be proportionate to the degree of public anxiety. “Doing nothing is not an option!” intone politicians, as though hyperactivity were itself a solution. Is that phrase ever true? Doing nothing is always an option, and often it is the best option.

DBx: Yes. And never forget that government doing noting does not imply society doing nothing. Individuals experiment and act in response to various challenges. These experiments and actions are, of course, “doing something,” even though the somethings being done are not being done by government. In many (most?) cases, indeed, when government “does something” the result is a reduction in the quantity of ‘somethings’ being done, as government activity – often by mandate, sometimes by crowding-out – displaces private activity.