Student Of Liberty

VII. – PETITION BY THE MANUFACTURERS OF CANDLES, ETC.

Well then, if consumers have an interest in the admission of natural light, producers have one in its prohibition.

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Sophisms First Series.

This famous pamphlet is the quintessential reductio ad absurdum so characteristic of Bastiat. What the quote shows is the danger there is in giving to much power to lobbyists – the interests of producers already exposed in the second “sophism” (Obstacle and Cause) are here the object of the caricature of this petition requesting restrictions in enjoying sunlight.

 As a consequence, it is also a new way of insisting on the importance of studying economic phenomena from the standpoint of the consumer, which was already what the first “sophism” (Abundance and Scarcity) was insisting on.

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