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Quotation of the Day…

… is from Book IV, Chapter 3 – on page 493, Vol. 1, of the 1981 Liberty Fund edition – of Adam Smith’s monumental 1776 An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations:

The Portugese, it is said, indeed, are better customers for our manufactures than the French, and should therefore be encouraged in preference to them. As they give us their custom, it is pretended, we should give them ours. The sneaking arts of underling tradesmen are thus erected into political maxims for the conduct of a great empire: for it is the most underling tradesmen only who make it a rule to employ chiefly their own customers. A great trader purchases his goods always where they are cheapest and best, without regard to any little interest of this kind.

DBx: On this date 299 years ago – June 5th, 1723 – Adam Smith was born (or, perhaps, baptized; his gravestone in Edinburgh gives his birth date as June 5th). Happy Birthday, sir!