Mankind’s wealth lies in the abundance of things.
Economic Sophisms First Series.
This proposal seems to be obvious but Bastiat shows how the actions of man can run counter to it. He also exposes the erroneous idea whereby wealth and money is the same thing (which is still a common erroneous idea in the 21st century and causes a fair number of misunderstandings).
An interesting point in this first pamphlet is that Bastiat, who is in this instance supported by Montaigne, clearly shows that the consumer’s standpoint is key to understand trade (i.e. catallactics as understood by Mises and Hayek in the 20th century) and explains why the term “consumers’ society” has been coined, although this term is often misunderstood for a society aiming mainly at consuming, which is not the case.
What this terms implies is the primacy of consumption over production or, said differently, that individuals produce in order to consume