No human being has the faculty of originally creating matter, which is more than nature itself can do. But any one may avail himself of the agents offered him by nature, to invest matter with utility.
regulation is useful and proper, when aimed at the prevention of fraud or contrivance, manifestly injurious to other kinds of production, or to the public safety, and not at prescribing the nature of the products and the methods of fabrication.
A shop-keeper in good business is quite as well off as a pedlar that travels the country with his wares on his back. Commercial jealousy is, after all, nothing but prejudice: it is a wild fruit, that will drop of itself when it has arrived at maturity.
With respect to the present time, there are few persons who unite the qualifications of good observers with a situation favourable for accurate observation.
The sea and wind can at the same time convey my neighbour's vessel and my own.
A nation or an individual, will do wisely to direct consumption chiefly to those articles, that are longest time in wearing out, and the most frequently in use.
But what must be the character of that policy, which aims at national prosperity through the impoverishment of a large proportion of the home producers, with a view to supply foreigners at a cheaper rate, and give them all the benifet of the national privation and self denial?
When a tree, a natural product, is felled, is society put into possession of no greater produce than that of the mere labour of the woodman?
What is the motive which operates in every man's breast to counteract the impulse towards the gratification of his wants and appetites?
A tax can never be favorable to the public welfare, except by the good use that is made of its proceeds.
If the community wish to have the benefit of more knowledge and intelligence in the labouring classes, it must dispense it at the public charge.
With no fixed opinions in relation to the causes of public prosperity, the nation, like a ship without chart or compass, was driven about by the caprice of the winds and the folly of the pilot, alike ignorant of the place of her departure or destination.
The wealthy are generally impressed with an idea, that they shall never stand in need of public charitable relief; but a little less confidence would become them better.
Political economy has only become a science since it has been confined to the results of inductive investigation.
Some writers maintain arithmetic to be only the only sure guide in political economy; for my part, I see so many detestable systems built upon arithmetical statements, that I am rather inclined to regard that science as the instrument of national calamity.