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Timeless Wisdom from the Great Scot

Posted By Don Boudreaux On July 1, 2004 @ 1:57 pm In Trade | Comments Disabled

Here’s eternal wisdom from Adam Smith [1]. It’s especially relevant for people, such as Paul Craig Roberts [2], who lately have worked themselves into a lather about the future of the American economy.

The annual produce of the land and labour of England, for example, is certainly much greater than it was, a little more than a century ago, at the restoration of Charles II. Though, at present, few people, I believe, doubt of this, yet during this period, five years have seldom passed away in which some book or pamphlet has not been published, written, too, with such abilities as to gain some authority with the public, and pretending to demonstrate that the wealth of the nation was fast declining, that the country was depopulated, agriculture neglected, manufactures decaying, and trade undone. Nor have these publications been all party pamphlets, the wretched offspring of falsehood and venality. Many of them have been written by very candid and very intelligent people, who wrote nothing but what they believed, and for no other reason but because they believed it.

Thanks to Dartmouth’s Doug Irwin [3] for drawing my attention to this wonderful quotation from The Wealth of Nations [4].

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URL to article: http://cafehayek.com/2004/07/timeless_wisdom.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Adam Smith: http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Smith.html

[2] such as Paul Craig Roberts: http://cafehayek.com/2004/05/outlandish_worr.html

[3] Doug Irwin: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~dirwin/

[4] The Wealth of Nations: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html

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