Quote of the Day: Worst-Case Political Economy Edition

There is one final observation to be made. Homo economicus by no means represents the worst imaginable character for the social drama. The natural monopolist whose predilection towards the ‘ small is beautiful’ philosophy leads him to produce less output than would be profit-maximising inflicts yet larger marginal losses on the community than his rapacious wealth-maximising counterpart. The political zealot who works with self-sacrificing conscientiousness to pursue some ideological goal – such as the purification of the race, or securing the world for Islam – can cause much greater harm than the mere budget-maximiser.

Brennan and Buchanan, Predictive Power and the Choice among Regimes, pp. 103-104.

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