Economic Ideas: Jean-Baptiste Say and the “Law of Markets”

Whatever economic freedom we enjoy in the world today is due, to a great extent, to the ideas and efforts of the classical liberals and economists of the first half of the nineteenth century. Inspired by the eighteenth-century writings of the French Physiocrats and Scottish Moral Philosophers (for example, David Hume and Adam Smith), they forcefully and insightfully demonstrated ... [click for more]

Economic Ideas: Frédéric Bastiat on the Law of Liberty and Free Markets

The defense of economic liberty has never been an easy task. Adam Smith expressed his own despair at this problem in The Wealth of Nations. After presenting his powerful criticisms of mercantilism—the eighteenth-century system of government regulation and planning—he despondently suggested that free trade in Great Britain was as unlikely as the establishment of a utopia. He said that two ... [click for more]

Freedom in Transactions

On entering Paris, which I had come to visit, I said to myself — here are a million human beings who would all die in a short time if provisions of every kind ceased to flow towards this great metropolis. Imagination is baffled when it tries to appreciate the vast multiplicity of commodities that must enter tomorrow through the ... [click for more]
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