Wednesday , October 18 2017
Home / Cafe Hayek / Quotation of the Day…

Quotation of the Day…

Summary:
… is from page 275 of my late Nobel laureate colleague Jim Buchanan‘s January 1989 Business Economics article, “On the Structure of an Economy,” as this article is reprinted in James M. Buchanan, Federalism, Liberty, and Law (2001), which is volume 18 of the Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: Let us by all means continue to strive for, and to support, efforts to analyze the structure of the economy, and to seek consensus on means to make this structure more capable of allowing us, as individual participants, to further those separately defined objectives that we seek.  Let us, however, guard against allowing intellectual confusion about what an economy is to offer legitimizing cover for the efforts of some persons and groups to impose their own purposes on others.  Beware of those

Topics:
Don Boudreaux considers the following as important: ,

This could be interesting, too:

Don Boudreaux writes Exports are Costs; Imports are Benefits

Don Boudreaux writes Steeling

Don Boudreaux writes Some Links

Don Boudreaux writes Trump’s Trade Policy Is Madness

… is from page 275 of my late Nobel laureate colleague Jim Buchanan‘s January 1989 Business Economics article, “On the Structure of an Economy,” as this article is reprinted in James M. Buchanan, Federalism, Liberty, and Law (2001), which is volume 18 of the Collected Works of James M. Buchanan:

Quotation of the Day…Let us by all means continue to strive for, and to support, efforts to analyze the structure of the economy, and to seek consensus on means to make this structure more capable of allowing us, as individual participants, to further those separately defined objectives that we seek.  Let us, however, guard against allowing intellectual confusion about what an economy is to offer legitimizing cover for the efforts of some persons and groups to impose their own purposes on others.  Beware of those who pronounce on the economy’s purpose.

DBx:  A regional or national or global economy has no purpose.  What we call “the economy” is the complex, unintended result of the pursuit by, today, each of several billion individuals of his or her individual goals.  (These goals, of course, might be heavily influenced by the choices of others.  These goals are also often pursued in voluntary tandem with others, as when individuals form a business firm.)  Talking, for example, about ‘the purpose’ of the American economy makes no more sense than talking about ‘the purpose’ of the English language.  As with a functioning language, an economy that works well enables each of the many individuals whose actions give rise to it the opportunity to better achieve his or her goals, but it itself has no goal or purpose.

Individuals have goals; economies do not.

Comments

Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *