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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 9 of the 1983 second edition of Peter Mathias’s 1969 book, The First Industrial Nation: The Economic History of Britain 1700-1914 (link added):

Arthur Lewis, when referring to the contemporary world, gave top priority to what he called ‘the will to economize‘. He meant that there must be a social system and a government which has not got its face turned against economic change, or at least has not got effective power and influence to prevent spontaneous forces for change from acting.

DBx: Lewis was correct.

It’s dismaying to ponder the large number of different intellectuals and politicians – left and right – who today in the United States wish (quoting Mathias) “to prevent spontaneous forces for change from acting.” Self-described “neo-Brandeisians,” proponents of “common good capitalism,” advocates of industrial policy, along with run-of-the-mill protectionists, all itch to use their wiles either to slow changes brought about by competitive market processes or to direct those changes in their preferred manner. All such people are ignorant of the enormous complexity of the economic system into which they propose to stick their fingers.


Pictured above is the late Nobel-laureate economist W. Arthur Lewis (1915-1991).