Today’s Quote of the Day…

…is from Adam Smith’s 1783 letter to William Eden, Lord Auckland, to which Prof. Smith responded to a question on whether or not England should have preferential and different duties on other nations (page 271-272 of the Liberty Fund’s Correspondence of Adam Smith):

I shall only say at present that every extraordinary encouragement or discouragement that is given to the trade of any country more than to that of another may, I think, be demonstrated to be in every case a complete piece of dupery, by which the interest of the State and the nation is constantly sacraficed to that of some particular class of traders.

JMM: Indeed so.  As I wrote before, when there is ambiguity of purpose, when multiple excuses may be given for various government handouts, we must expect that there is going to be abuse and “dupery” and firms and individuals vie for such handouts.

2 thoughts on “Today’s Quote of the Day…

  1. As true today as it was in 1783. Some things don’t change, as they are innate properties of human nature. Smith was a keen observer.

    I plan to start using the excellent word “dupery” more often. 🙂

    Those who believe “we” are the state or the nation, must believe that “we” are frequently duping ourselves and sacrificing “our” interests to that of some particular class of traders.

    (Did Adam Smith really misspell the word ‘sacrifice’?)

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