This “quote of the day” comes courtesy of a post-script by Don Boudreaux and is found as part of a much longer essay by the great Deirdre McCloskey:

“How do I know that my narrative is better than yours?  The experiments of the 20th century told me so.  It would have been hard to know the wisdom of Friedrich Hayek or Milton Friedman or Matt Ridley or Deirdre McCloskey in August of 1914, before the experiments in large government were well begun.  But anyone who after the 20th century still thinks that thoroughgoing socialism, nationalism, imperialism, mobilization, central planning, regulation, zoning, price controls, tax policy, labor unions, business cartels, government spending, intrusive policing, adventurism in foreign policy, faith in entangling religion and politics, or most of the other thoroughgoing 19th-century proposals for governmental action are still neat, harmless ideas for improving our lives is not paying attention.”

Macro can’t boast many experiments, but Dierdre is right: the 20th century was a pretty long experiment into what works best and the answer is emphatically de-centralized, spontaneous order; that is, (free) markets.

-JD Cross