I say that if we go back to the exact point that divides these two schools, we find it in the true or false use of the word utility.

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Sophisms Third Series

This assertion comes from a discussion concerning the differences between the liberal school of thought and the protectionist school of thought. The concept of utility is a major on in economics (the concept of marginal utility that will be “discovered” in the 1870s by Léon Walras, William Stanley Jevons and Carl Menger has revolutionised economics) and what Bastiat is telling us here is that protectionist take this concept upside down by focusing on the utility for the producer rather than the utility for the consumer.

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