Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on April 5, 2013

in Inequality, Seen and Unseen

… is from page 390 of the 1964 W. Hayden Boyers translation, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, of Frederic Bastiat‘s 1850 treatise, Economic Harmonies (available on-line here):

In order to justify the envy, jealousy, and sheer spitefulness with which the worker regards the capitalist, the latter’s security would have to be one of the causes of the worker’s insecurity.  But the contrary is the case, and the very fact that capital is available to one man means that the other man is guaranteed his wages, however inadequate these wages may appear to you to be.  Certainly if it were not for capital, the worker’s risk and uncertainty would be much more imminent and ruthless.  And if the hardships of risk and uncertainty were made worse so that they might be made equal and common to all, would the worker in any way be better off?

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