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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 390 of the 1982 Liberty Fund issue of the 1978 Oxford University Press edition of Adam Smith‘s Lectures on Jurisprudence; this quotation is from a lecture that Smith delivered on April 13, 1763:

A free commerce on a fair consideration must appear to be advantageous on both sides. We see that it must be so betwixt individuals, unless one of them be a fool and makes a bargain plainly ruinous; but betwixt prudent men it must always be advantageous.  For the very cause of the exchange must be that you need my goods more than I need them, and that I need yours more than you do yourself; and if the bargain be managed with ordinary prudence it must be profitable to both.  It is the same thing with regard to nations.  The exchange must always be profitable if they act with prudence, and as the number of the prudent will be pretty much the same on both sides, and this will be the far greater part, the benefit will be mutual.  For it is evident that the other nation stands more in need of it than the other does of its own, and this must be the case on both sides.