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Quotation of the Day…

is from page 82 of the 1994 Liberty Fund edition of Adam Smith’s remarkable 1759 book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments:

To disturb his happiness merely because it stands in the way of our own, to take from him what is of real use to him merely because it may be of equal or of more use to us, or to indulge, in this manner, at the expense of other people, the natural preference which every man has for his own happiness above that of other people, is what no impartial spectator can go along with.

DBx: Thus does common decency and basic humanity condemn protectionism, for protectionism is the practice of some individuals – protected producers – taking from other people what rightly belongs to and is of real use to other people. The fact that these transfers are of benefit to the protected producers saves them neither from the charge that they are economically inefficient and, far worse, unethical.

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