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"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore,
in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy
of private people, and to restrain their expence, either by
sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign
luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception,
the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well
after their own expence, and they may safely trust private
people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin
the state, that of their subjects never will."

Adam Smith
(1723-1790) Scottish philosopher and economist
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations par. II.3.36

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