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In economic affairs decisions are influenced not only by ideas and by vested economic interest. They are also subject to the tyranny of circumstance. This, too, is severe. In daily political discussion we think it greatly important whether an individual is of the right or of the left, liberal or conservative, an exponent of free enterprise or of socialism. We do not see that, very often, circumstances close in and force the same action on all—or on all who are concerned to survive. If one must stop air pollution in order to breathe or prevent unemployment or inflation in order to prove competence in economic management, there isn’t much difference between what conservatives, liberals or social democrats will be forced to do. The choices are regrettably few.

John Kenneth Galbraith

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