By Don Boudreaux
Quotation of the Day… is from pages 373-374 of Benjamin A. Rogge’s 1967 essay titled “East-West Trade,” as this essay is reprinted in A Maverick’s Defense of Freedom, the 2010 collection of Rogge’s essays that is edited by Dwight Lee:
The process of voluntary exchange tends to be “civilizing” in its social impact on the parties involved, including a greater awareness of each other’s basic humanity and a reduction in sheer uninformed prejudice. This civilizing influence, combined with economic interdependence created by trade, tends to reduce conflict between the parties involved and to make for more peaceful relationships, both within a country and between countries.
The exact opposite occurs in a Trinidad & Tobago government office where by decree interaction with a nameless, rude, obstinate public servant is hoisted upon the individual by force and compulsion leading to constant conflict and frustration. (Think Wrightson Road, Port of Spain Licensing Office)
Bottom line: the bigger the role government plays in society the more uncivilized it becomes. As the Trinidad & Tobago state grows expect more incivility.