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Friday Roundup, March 1

Wisely, democratic governments and their intelligentsia find an inexhaustible supply of inequalities whose elimination, which is a never ending task, makes the servile mind happy, and in exchange for which open-ended elimination it accepts new forms of servility.  Hence the interminable series of “gaps” noticed by the intelligentsia’s “research” between all sorts of collective and therefore essentialized entities, gaps which government must urgently proceed to combat, with new “gaps” constantly being discovered and in need of destruction.

  • Arnold Kling at EconLib pens a characteristically insightful essay on the free economy and its dependence on an array of historical, social, cultural institutions. The piece begins with a wise citation of Ronald Coase’s essay “Saving Economics from the Economists“:

At a time when the modern economy is becoming increasingly institutions-intensive, the reduction of economics to price theory is troubling enough. It is suicidal for the field to slide into a hard science of choice, ignoring the influences of society, history, culture, and politics on the working of the economy.

  • So the regulatory state is regressive: Diana Thomas’ new paper @Mercatus argues that “that regulations often burden low-income households disproportionately, either by increasing costs of goods and services, lowering wages, or both. Consequently, the most vulnerable households have less money on hand to implement the choices that would improve their welfare the most.”
  • Does Decline become us? Robert Merry retells Spengler’s prophecy and relates it to America’s contemporary self-understanding and the implications for its foreign policy.
  • Can you imagine a world without Subs?
Reader Discussion

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on March 01, 2013 at 10:30:50 am

Yikes. That last link is way, way beneath the dignity of this site--both in the content and the framing. Who could possibly think that the venerable institution of the hoagie would be any worse off if Subway did not exist?

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Philip W
on March 01, 2013 at 12:28:49 pm

On the Arnold Kling essay:

suggested ancillary reading:

"The Age of Social Transformation" an essay by Peter F Drucker.
The Atlantic Monthly, November 1994,Vol. 274,pp. 53 – 80

This is probably still available somewhere online.
It does vary somewhat in its conclusion that the productive capital (was then) is continuing to shift to "knowledge." That knowledge is "individual," which may be at odds with Garrett Jones's conclusions. However to be effective it requires "organization." Which will result in the establishment of institutions for effective production.

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R Richard Schweitzer
on March 01, 2013 at 14:32:28 pm

So thanks Richard for the citation to Drucker. There is always time to read Drucker. On Philip's comment, Subway may not be the best. I'll grant it. But, dollar for dollar, it's a sub that can hold its own.

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Richard M. Reinsch II

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.