Friday, June 16, 2017

Frederic Bastiat in1847

A quote from Frederic Bastiat in 1847.  FB is on target.

Economic sanity has been available for centuries, yet the majority of voters have yet to absorb it.

Here is the quote.
The illusion arises from the fact that there is something we do not see. This is that foreign superiority only ever blocks national production in a specific area and makes it redundant only in this specific area by putting at our disposal the output of the very labor which has been destroyed in this way. If men lived in bells under water and had to provide themselves with air by means of a pump, there would be a huge source of work in this. Damaging this work while leaving men in this situation would be to do them frightful harm. But if the work ceases only because there is no longer any need for it, because men are placed in a different milieu in which air enters effortlessly into contact with their lungs, then the loss of this work is no cause for regret, except in the eyes of those who insist on seeing the value of work only in the work itself.

It is precisely this type of work that machines, free trade and progress of all sorts are gradually destroying; not useful work, but work that has become superfluous, redundant, pointless and ineffectual. On the other hand, protection restores it; it puts us back under the water in order to supply us with the opportunity to pump, it forces us to demand gold from our inaccessible national mine rather than from our national looms. Its entire effect is encapsulated in this term: wasted efforts.

No comments: