Let moralists no longer be dismayed by this consideration.

Frédéric Bastiat
Economic Harmonies

Today’s quote concludes the chapter “Saving” in which Frédéric Bastiat shows that savings are not only legitimate but also beneficial to society because it allows for capital formation and that the interest that the saver can demand is also legitimate.

This conclusion that he finds worth noting comes from the fact that, at the time, a fair amount of “moralists” complained that savings harmed society in taking wealth out of society by not consuming it, which is an error.

I note it down because I believe that it is way more universal than the sole framework of savings. Indeed, we encounter every single day some “moralists” who are convinced that they know better than anyone else what is good for society and rise up against this or that economic phenomenon that they do not understand (or at least do not understand it fully in its implications by looking at it from a narrow angle). These people keep appearing on television and their desires are written all around newspaper columns in order to complain about the fortune of the ones or the others but never about their own fortune. In modern terms, I would like to tell them “mind your own business” or as Deirdre McCloskey puts it “if you are so smart, why ain’t you rich?”, which Bastiat wrote with style, of course.

Other quotes from Saving:
Savings – Credit – Legitimacy

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