… is from page 236 of Russ Roberts’s splendid 2014 book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life:
I suspect that if we appreciated the role of specialization and exchange in creating the wonders of modern life, we would be more tolerant of its imperfections and more eager to preserve what gives it its power.
DBx: Russ is right.
Unfortunately, too few people have this appreciation. And, as Russ understands, the absence of this appreciation is a chief reason why so many people – left and right – so blithely propose having the state obstruct this sort of exchange, subsidize that other sort of exchange, or otherwise try to engineer society into patterns or ‘outcomes’ that appear so beautiful on paper but which are either impossible in reality or can be brought about only at costs that are obscenely excessive.