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David Ricardo
British political economist

Under a system of perfectly free commerce, each country naturally devotes its capital and labour to such employments as are most beneficial to each. This pursuit of individual advantage is admirably connected with the with the universal good of the whole. By stimulating industry, by rewarding ingenuity, and by using most efficaciously the peculiar powers bestowed by nature, it distributes labour most effectively and most economically: while, by increasing the general mass of productions, it diffuses general benefit, and binds together, by one common tie of interest and intercourse, the universal society of nations throughout the civilized world.
-- Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817). This is Ricardo's famous defense of free trade.

(1) For a sympathetic commentary on the above quote (on the eve of the 200th anniversary of the publication of the
Principles of Political Economy and Taxation), see: The Australian (newspaper), 29 November 2016, p. 11, editorial column.

(2) For brief outlines of some notable criticisms of Ricardo's theories, see: David Ricardo.

Further Reading
History of Economic Thought: A Critical Perspective by E. K. Hunt (Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2002. 2nd edition.)

The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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