Economic Analysis Cannot Provide Moral Exculpation for State Actions

I am an economist. I am convinced of the power of basic economic analysis, and I believe that during the past fifty years or so my own work has demonstrated that power repeatedly. But economics is not the only aspect of a proper evaluation of the world’s workings, especially where government intrudes in economic and social affairs.
A certain species of economist—often those who took to economic analysis in grad school as if it were the be all and end all of understanding the world—tends to dismiss all moral elements in an appraisal of government action on the grounds that because

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