I owe an apology and restitution to Prof. Deirdre McCloskey, the distinguished economic philosopher and writer. To be honest, I can't quite remember what I did wrong but I suspect it stemmed from my misunderstanding that she is a he, or the other way round, whatever, I put my foot in it and after apologising profusely I promised to buy one of her books - which I have not done! - but I will, I will, I promise! Mind you she describes herself thus, according to Wiki, so my confusion is slightly understandable:
McCloskey has described herself as a "literary, quantitative, postmodern, free-market, progressive Episcopalian, Midwestern woman from Boston who was once a man. Not 'conservative'! I'm a Christian libertarian."
Yeeees, quite! Anyway, the few odds and sods I have seen of her writing, almost all of them over at Cafe Hayek, indicate to me that she is possessed of a keen intelligence - another reason to buy one of her books, I suppose! - and as I am in a larcenous mood I shall nick this quote from her featured on the afore-mentioned Cafe Hayek:
If “science” means “indubitable,” then there is no science in science. If it
means “very persuasive,” then much clear and honest thinking is scientific.
Damn! but that is absolutely spot on and I wish I could write with that clarity and concision. From her 1985 study, The Rhetoric of Economics.
At the same time, the 'proprietor' of the esteemed Cafe Hayek dashed off this letter to the New York Daily News:
Mayor Bill de Blasio promises that, in addition to redistributing incomes in New York City, he’ll also shut down all horse-drawn carriages (“Bill de Blasio says he won’t horse around over New York’s controversial carriages,” Dec. 31).
In other words, while Mr. de Blasio thinks it “inhumane” for entrepreneurs to harness horses with bridles and yokes so that customers can enjoy paid rides, he thinks it noble for politicians to harness some human beings with the yoke of taxes and the bridle of regulation so that other human beings can enjoy free rides.
I say ‘neigh’ to such “Progressivism.”
Donald J. Boudreaux
And just for the benefit of my e-pal, 'DM', I will pinch one more quote from the Cafe Hayek which shows, despite 'DM's deep and abiding loathing, that Jefferson did write some bits of witty, sardonic wisdom:
The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.
Well, I think that's enough petty larceny for one day so I suppose I had better get back to scribbling something of my own that is witty, wise or woeful - you choose!