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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 258 – which is in the chapter entitled “Consumers’ Sovereignty” – of the 1990 Transaction Publishers reprint of W.H. Hutt’s 1936 book, Economists and the Public: [W]e [economists] believe that the achievements of the productive system can be measured only in terms of the extent to which they represent a response to consumers’ will. DBx: It’s interesting – and scary – to ponder the many consequences of extending to the whole economy the protectionist fallacy that existing producers should be protected from the decisions of consumers. A consistent application of this fallacy would, for example, silence all complaints, whether merited or not, of how big corporations supposedly rip-off consumers. Protectionists, after all, are all about producers ripping off consumers. If

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… is from page 258 – which is in the chapter entitled “Consumers’ Sovereignty” – of the 1990 Transaction Publishers reprint of W.H. Hutt’s 1936 book, Economists and the Public:

Quotation of the Day…[W]e [economists] believe that the achievements of the productive system can be measured only in terms of the extent to which they represent a response to consumers’ will.

DBx: It’s interesting – and scary – to ponder the many consequences of extending to the whole economy the protectionist fallacy that existing producers should be protected from the decisions of consumers. A consistent application of this fallacy would, for example, silence all complaints, whether merited or not, of how big corporations supposedly rip-off consumers. Protectionists, after all, are all about producers ripping off consumers.

If protectionists are correct that the interests of people in their capacities as existing producers trump the interests of people in their capacities as consumers, then any successes of existing producers have at gaining at the expense of consumers should be celebrated and encouraged rather than condemned and discouraged.

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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.

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