Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on March 2, 2018

in Competition, Creative destruction, Trade

… is from page 111-112 of the 1992 Liberty Fund edition of John Taylor‘s 1822 tract, Tyranny Unmasked:

Employment must be nurtured by free exchanges, like commerce, or it flags.  Commercial action and re-action constitute its food.  Take away one and the other languishes.  A nation deprived of the excitements arising from commercial reverberations, loses the creator of employment, as well as of civilization, knowledge, and comforts; and recedes towards savageness.  Even with the aid of these excitements, employment for all can never be established.  The fluctuations caused by war, seasons, fashions, and the wonderful catalogue of human passions, will reach employment and prevent that permanency no where to be found; but these fluctuations left to be met by free industry, are themselves excitements of genius and talents, and awaken exertions into life.  Which generate most employment, all the inducements which propel the mind and body to make the utmost efforts they can, or the protecting-duty system which destroys most of them?

DBx: Strictly speaking, there will always be jobs to do as long as humans have unfulfilled desires and demands to meet.  The question, however, is this: Which system – one of free, open, and competitive markets, or one of restricted, closed, and privilege-clogged markets – will most consistently discover opportunities for individuals to assist each other commercially in the most productive ways?  Trade restrictions are arbitrary barriers to human cooperation and to the sharing of human creativity as well as to the stimulus and healthy discipline of competition.

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