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.
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.
What can we expect from nations still less advanced in civilization than the Greeks?
Still how unenlightened and ignorant are the very nations we term civilized!
Wherefore it is impossible to succeed in comparing wealth of different eras or different nations. This, in political economy, like squaring the circle in mathematics, is impracticable, for want of a common mean or measure to go by.
Opulent, civilized, and industrious nations, are greater consumers than poor ones, because they are infinitely greater producers.