His greatest compensation consists in this fact: even as he was forced to benefit mankind by his progress, so he benefits from the progress of mankind.

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Harmonies

After introducing his topic, Frédéric Bastiat digs into the relationship between the producer and the consumer. He naturally arrives at describing exchange and looks into price formation. He reiterates then the idea that progress does not benefit the innovative producer creating first a competitive advantage for himself only but everyone else as well. He goes all the way to write that the consumer is the benefactor of innovations because the initial benefit for the producer is marginal, at least in comparison to the innovations of others that he benefits from as a consumer himself.

A particularly interesting aspect of this chapter is the attempt by Frédéric Bastiat to use geometry in order to explain his understanding of value, its evolution through innovations and the way it gets shared subsequently. I do not recall of any other use of geometry in his writings but I find the demonstration rather convincing, even if it is only a didactic interest rather than a forecasting one, as the one by econometricians pretending to use mathematics to convince about the accuracy of their predictions for the future.

Other quotes from Producer and Consumer:
Introduction – Main part – Conclusion

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