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Willisms

« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 259 -- Superbowl Sunday. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 260 -- Listening In On Terrorists. »

Quotational Therapy: Part 71 -- The Late Sir John Cowperthwaite

John Cowperthwaite, On Free Market Policies-

In the long run, the aggregate of decisions of individual businessmen, exercising individual judgment in a free economy, even if often mistaken, is less likely to do harm than the centralised decisions of a government, and certainly the harm is likely to be counteracted faster.
sirjohncowperthwaite.gif

Cowpertwaite shares credit for this legacy:

...in 1950 Hong Kong's citizens were 40 percent poorer on a per capita basis than the citizens of the oil rich African country of Gabon. By 1998, Hong Kong's residents were over four times richer than the Gabonese. In the long run, in other words, Hong Kong's free market policies proved more important than Gabon's natural riches or its more advanced starting position.

And this legacy:

...in 1960, the earliest date for which I have been able to get them, the average per capita income in Hong Kong was 28 percent of that in Great Britain; by 1996, it had risen to 137 percent of that in Britain. In short, from 1960 to 1996, Hong Kong’s per capita income rose from about one-quarter of Britain’s to more than a third larger than Britain’s. It’s easy to state these figures. It is more difficult to realize their significance. Compare Britain—the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, the nineteenth-century economic superpower on whose empire the sun never set—with Hong Kong, a spit of land, overcrowded, with no resources except for a great harbor. Yet within four decades the residents of this spit of overcrowded land had achieved a level of income one-third higher than that enjoyed by the residents of its former mother country.

Policies matter. Ideas matter. Governance matters.

More on Cowperthwaite here.

-----------------------------

Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

Donovan McNabb, Black-On-Black Crime.

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy on Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 6 February 2006 12:05 PM

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