Jean-Baptiste Say Quotes

The command of a large sum is a dangerous temptation to a national administration. Though accumulated at their expense, the people rarely, if ever profit by it: yet in point of fact, all value, and consequently, all wealth, originates with the people.

This is a an interesting political and historical quotation because it shows how left and right gets redefined in each age. Here we have a quotation of two sentences. By 21st century American definitions, the first statement would line Say up with the Right Wing. The second clause of the second sentence could have been written by an extreme Marxist and would be Left Wing. Definitions and norms change and individuals even change their positions as they have more experience and reflect more on their views.
Jean-Baptiste Say
Jean-Baptiste Say
  • Born: January 5, 1767
  • Died: November 15, 1832
  • Nationality: French
  • Profession:

Jean-Baptiste Say was a French economist and businessman who had classically liberal views and argued in favor of competition, free trade and lifting restraints on business. He is best known for Say's law, also known as the law of markets, which he popularized. Scholars disagree on the surprisingly subtle question of whether it was Say who first stated what we now call Say's law.

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