There are necessities and impossibilities in reality which do not obtain in fiction , any more than the law of gravity to which we are subject controls what is represented in a picture. ... It is the same with pure good; for a necessity as strong as gravity condemns man to evil and forbids him any good, or only within the narrowest limits and laboriously obtained and soiled and adulterated with evil. ... The simplicity which makes the fictional good something insipid and unable to hold the attention becomes, in the real good, an unfathomable marvel.
In the usual (though certainly not in every) public decision on economic policy, the choice is between courses that are almost equally good or equally bad. It is the narrowest decisions that are most ardently debated. If the world is lucky enough to enjoy peace, it may even one day make the discovery, to the horror of doctrinaire free-enterprisers and doctrinaire planners alike, that what is called capitalism and what is called socialism are both capable of working quite well.john kenneth galbraith
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