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Quotation of the Day…

… is from chapter 3 of William Graham Sumner’s 1885 book, Protectionism: the -ism Which Teaches that Waste Makes Wealth:

If trade was an object of suspicion and dread, then indeed we ought to have rules for distinguishing safe and beneficial trade from mischievous trade, but these attempts to define and discriminate only expose the folly of the suspicion. We find that the primitive men, who dwelt in caves in the glacial epoch, carried on trade. The earliest savages made footpaths through the forests by which to traffic and trade, winning thereby mutual advantages. They found that they could supply more wants with less effort by trade, which gave them a share in the natural advantages and acquired skill of others. They trained beasts of burden, improved roads, invented wagons and boats, all in order to extend and facilitate trade. They were foolish enough to think that they were gaining by it, and did not know that they needed a protective tariff to keep them from ruining themselves. Or, why does not some protectionist sociologist tell us at what stage of civilization trade ceases to be advantageous and begins to need restraint and regulation?