Friday, August 17, 2012

When the French were actually smart

Frédéric Bastiat:

Claude Frédéric Bastiat (30 June 1801 – 24 December 1850) was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly.

Thanks to Kurt Vangsness for the following two links:


This essay published in 1848 explains why Keynesian stimulus does not work."
This explains man's necessarily painful evolution. Ignorance surrounds him at his cradle; therefore, he regulates his acts according to their first consequences, the only ones that, in his infancy, he can see. It is only after a long time that he learns to take account of the others.**2 Two very different masters teach him this lesson: experience and foresight. Experience teaches efficaciously but brutally. It instructs us in all the effects of an act by making us feel them, and we cannot fail to learn eventually, from having been burned ourselves, that fire burns. I should prefer, in so far as possible, to replace this rude teacher with one more gentle: foresight. For that reason I shall investigate the consequences of several economic phenomena, contrasting those that are seen with those that are not seen.

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