A man’s well-being is not measured by his efforts, but by his satisfactions.
In order to conclude this chapter in which Frédéric Bastiat explored the topics of man’s wants and the means to fulfill them, he concludes that what counts are satisfactions.
Today’s quote is part of a short explanation about what the consumers’ society is. The latter that has been largely dismissed, because of misunderstanding I believe, was a notable topic of the first Economic Sophism, Abundance and Scarcity, which remains a key piece of writing in order to understand the economist way of thought. Despite popular belief, to qualify the society as being “the consumers’ one” does not mean that it is a society that is despicably materialist but that the consumer is at the heart of the decision process, as opposed to a feudal society in which the decision process is owned by an autocratic lord. Economic relations constitute an essential relationship between individuals in such a society and it is through the analysis of exchanges that the economist will be able to analyse causal links within such a society. It does not exclude the possibility of having non-economic relationships (filial piety comes immediately to mind) but the latter, as much as morality, are not part of the scope of economic science.
Other quotes from Man’s Wants:
Introduction – Part 1 – Part 2 – Conclusion