Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on November 28, 2011

in Seen and Unseen, Trade

… is from page 30 of Jacob Viner’s classic 1937 Studies in the Theory of International Trade; in particular, the following quotation is from the opening chapter on the history of mercantilist thought, entitled “English Theories of Foreign Trade, Before Adam Smith I”:

Also if Englishmen were sparing in their consumption of even domestic goods, there would result, it was claimed [by mercantilist thinkers], either unemployment or the piling-up of unsold and perishable commodities, unless the surplus stocks of domestic goods were exported abroad.  Small imports and large exports were therefore a necessary adjunct of thrift and enrichment….

Protests against the importation of “apes and peacocks,” “toys and baubles” recur throughout the mercantilist period and were already common in the sixteenth century.

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