"Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry."
Benjamin Franklin
(1706-1790) US Founding Father
Positions to be Examined, April 4, 1769
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Reader comments about this quote:
I am having truble with the second one (Commerce) I have never thought of it as cheating
 -- Warrdoc, Elk Grove,     
    I am with Warrdoc, Those participating in commerce can cheat where the farmer's seed doesn't exactly present the same opportunity. Does GMO seed make the farmer non-virtuous or violate his innocent life? ;-) With out the marketplace or trade, could each farmer produce everything needed to farm and survive (some - not all) ? hmmm, maybe a little more than 2/3s right.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I'm with Mike and Warrdoc.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    Commerce which is generally Cheating. the " Middle man " and his cuff money. Bartering, the old method of trading for that that you lack, with what you supply for the others need. Plundering of the food stuffs, Washington warned of such a takeover. First remove the little farmer from his inheritance by way of property tax, then tell him what he can and cannot plant. Nationalized crops with FDR. Prior to 1900 over 90% of the people lived and survived on the small farm. The industrial revolution so called, striped away the independence of the individual and his ability to provide for himself and a family if he so desired. When people were paid for existing and no man had to pay for his sins. We have come a long way baby, from what this nation once allowed and provided for the sovereign freeman ! I would give the quote ten stars ! Cain built a city and Adam lived on the farm. You think people would get the picture !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
    I have heard before that merchants were considered lower class back in the Middle Ages. However the so called “cheating” that is known as commerce has resulted in economic growth and the betterment of human kind. Commerce provides a way (like money) to engage in trade where a value can be transferred without actually giving my neighbor a chicken in exchange for his corn. The “middle-man” plays an important role in that without him the farmer must provide this service himself. But he could never expand his enterprise beyond self-sustenance without someone to transport and trade for him with multiple customers. This has resulted in allowing the growth of villages and cities as places to conduct business that the farmer could never achieve on his own. The new wealth allowed advances we all benefit from today. Far from cheating, commerce has been a liberator.
     -- SCSURFR, La Mirada     
    Commerce is highly over rated. Considering unchecked growth. Blind greed steps in, to take control. More is not always better ! Two wrongs do not, ever, make a right.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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