He would be seen to forbid the use of the plough, since cultivation using his nails would satisfy his double desire of making bread more expensive and work more plentiful.

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Sophisms First Series.

There is a story that might be apocryphal according to which Milton Friedman visiting the People’s Republic of China would have been surprised at seeing an incredible number of workers with shovels on an enormous construction site. He would then have expressed his surprise to the Official representative of the Communist Party, asking why they were not using heavy machinery on such a site and the reply was that the interest resides in the number of jobs that it created. Thus he would have answered; “Really? But if you want to create jobs, why don’t you give them spoons instead of shovels?”

Here again, we find Bastiat as inspiring Milton Friedman who did not hide his admiration for the French economist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *