“By the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread.” But everyone wants as much bread and as little sweat as possible.

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Sophisms Second Series

This second pamphlet of the second series looks at religious or philosophical morality with regard to economic morality. What Bastiat shows is that, far from being paradoxical, they aspire at the same thing but constitute different points of view.

Economics is more down to earth and is interested in human beings as they are rather than as they should be. This is one of the major aspects of economics that leads to observe facts, good or bad, before drawing conclusions. This is also what often repels those without the expertise – when an economist mentions a sad truth, he is often scorned for being heartless, instead of being listened to with humility. Man is not perfect and all imagined solutions are not necessarily adapted to this time and place, as uncomfortable as this can be to our humanity.

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