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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 3 of the 1963 Van Nostrand edition, translated by Arthur Goddard, of Faustino Ballvé’s 1956 book, Essentials of Economics (original emphasis):

The establishment of absolute monarchies in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the rise of modern nations imbued with an ardent and youthful spirit of nationalism produced at the same time a control over economic activity and a theoretical justification of that control that is known historically as mercantilism. Its fundamental principles, of which those of the present age, aptly called neomercantilist, remind us, are: the direction of economic life by the public authorities, the consideration of money as true wealth, a concern with a favorable balance of payments with the object of obtaining more money in international exchange, the protection of industry for the purpose of having articles of export in order to bring money into the country, a system of subsidies and privileges for exporters and for industries producing for export or avoiding imports, an increase in the population in order to augment the productive forces of the domestic economy, competition with and isolation of foreigners by means of tariff barriers, and, above all, the belief that the prosperity of one country is possible only at the expense of the others.

DBx: Except for the wish to increase the population of the home country – a wish either not emphasized or positively rejected by today’s mercantilists – there is nothing “neo” about neomercantilism. It’s the same pack of primitive, atavistic fallacies that were current when people wore ruffs or justacorps.