Is it not ludicrous that you are already inflicting this regime on the nation for fear that it will run the risk of reaching it one day without you?

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Sophisms First Series

Here is another pamphlet in which trade balance is the main topic. In two pages, Bastiat tears down the fears of those who worry that the trade balance may not be fair, showing how the balance will necessary be reached in fine (he omits the details linked to arbitrary measures in place since then – identifying separately trade balance and investment balance -which have led to the fact that the trade balance is nowadays the exact opposite of capital flows).

The conclusion here is that, as soon as the reasoning is absurd, the suggested solution is absurd as well. It reminds of one of the favourite saying of would-be dictators, namely “I shall kill you to teach you how to live.”

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