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John Prince-Smith: Excerpts from his Collected Writings (1843-63)

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“In addition to the unrestricted manufacture and refinement of products, it is necessary to have ease of traffic and freedom of trade, both at home and abroad, if industry, industriousness, and welfare are going to flourish, and this is also the most natural, most effective, and most lasting means to promote these.

“Trades that can be conducted to advantage will therefore come into being, and these will be the ones most appropriate for the production conditions of the country and the cultural condition of the nation. It is incorrect to believe that it is advantageous for the state to manufacture things itself even when they can be purchased more inexpensively abroad. The additional costs that accrue to [the state] from domestic manufacture are simply lost and could, if they had been invested in another trade, prove quite lucrative. It is wrong to believe, in cases like this, that one needs to keep the money at home and preferably not buy. If the state has products that it can sell off, then it can also buy gold and silver and have it coined.”

“It is not necessary to give trade preferential treatment; [trade] simply needs not to be burdened.”

“The government's attention needs to be drawn to promoting freedom of trade and commerce as much as possible and abolishing the various restrictions to which these are still subject.” —

Source: John Prince-Smith, "Ueber Handelsfeindseligkeit," in John Prince-Smith’s gesammelte Schriften, eds. Otto Michaelis and Karl Braun-Wiesbaden. Berlin: Verlag von F.A. Herbig, 1877-80, vol. 2, p. 141-44.

Translation: Jeremiah Riemer

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