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Letters to Thomas Robert Malthus on Political Economy and Stagnation of Commerce By Jean Baptiste Say
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Jean Baptiste Say was that most unusual of economists, a theorist who lost his post (stripped of it by Napoleon) who then started a manufacturing firm and became very rich thereby. He was a leading... More > French advocate of laissez-faire, influenced by Adam Smith and emphasizing the role of the entrepreneur in production. Thomas Jefferson received the present work from Say in February, 1804, just as he was reading Malthus on the topic of population, "a work of sound logic, in which some of the opinions of Adam Smith, as well as of the economists, are ably examined. I was pleased, on turning to some chapters where you [Say] treat the same questions, to find his opinions corroborated by yours." Actually part of Say's motive in writing these letters was to defend his famous law of production from Malthus' public criticism. Whatever the readers level of interest in economics, Say is always worth reading and this short work gives an overview of his principles and reasoning.< Less

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