But the things of which exports and imports consist are not things that nature forces on us against our will, and that we have to struggle to rid ourselves of; but things that nature gives only in return for labor, things for which men make exertions and undergo privations. Him who has or can command much of these things we call rich; him who has little we call poor; an when we say that a country increases its wealth we mean that the amount of those things which it contains increases faster than its population. What, then, is more repugnant to reason than the notion that the way to increase the wealth of a country is to promote the sending of such things away and to prevent the bringing of them in? Could there be a queerer inversion of ideas? Should we not think even a dog had lost his senses that snapped and snarled when given a bone, and wagged his tail when a bone was taken from him?
Conclusion: on the economics of trade, Donald Trump and other protectionists who really believe that trade restrictions and export subsidies enrich the people of the country are less thoughtful than are our canine friends.