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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 454 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague Jim Buchanan’s 1989 paper “The Relatively Absolute Absolutes,” as this paper is reprinted in volume 1 (1999) of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty:

I consider it to be the task of economists, as economic scientists, to make rudimentary predictions about the behavior of persons within existing and potential constraints, whether these be imposed physically or artifactually. I have considered it to be the task of economists, as moral and social philosophers, to evaluate alternative sets of constraints, and to seek consensus on changes in direction of those that most nearly meet the discipline’s ultimate normative criteria, which are themselves determined by agreement.

DBx: Happy Birthday, Jim Buchanan, who was born on this date (October 3rd) in 1919.