Monday, June 29, 2009

Profit as Life-blood

Another succinct bit of wisdom from Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727–1781); this one on profit:
It is this advance and this continual return of capitals which constitute what one must call the circulation of money — that useful and fruitful circulation which gives life to all the labors of society, which maintains movement and life in the body politic, and which is with great reason compared to the circulation of blood in the animal body. For if, by any disorder whatsoever in the sequence of expenditures on the part of the different classes of society, the [entrepreneurs] cease to get back their advances with the profit they have a right to expect from them, it is evident that they will be obliged to reduce their undertakings; that the amount of labor, the amount of consumption of the fruits of the earth, the amount of production, and the amount of revenue will be reduced in like measure; that poverty will take the place of wealth; and that the common workmen, ceasing to find employment, will fall into the extremest destitution. (Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth)

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