Bonus Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on August 18, 2016

in Adam Smith, Balance of Payments, Crony Capitalism, Trade

… is from Book IV, Chapter 3, paragraph 31 of Adam Smith’s 1776 masterwork, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations:

Nothing, however, can be more absurd than this whole doctrine of the balance of trade.

True, beyond any dispute or doubt.

Yet also true is the sad reality that nothing can be more serviceable for a politician aiming to metastasize economic ignorance into votes than this whole doctrine of the balance of trade.  Bellowing belligerently about “the trade deficit” seems to be a sure-fire way to incite the economically ignorant to support government intrusions that penalize ordinary people for spending their own money as they wish.  Special-interest groups, and their cronies in Congress and in the White House, smile and laugh all the way to the bank.


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