J.B. Say on Wealthy Politicians

Jean-Baptiste Say’s Treatise on Political Economy holds up very well for a book whose most recent edition came out in 1821 (the first was published in 1803). For example, see this quotation on p. 427:

“Besides, there is some danger, that a man, who gives his services for nothing, will make his authority a matter of gain, however rich he may be. The wealth of a public functionary is no security against his venality: for ample fortune is commonly accompanied with desires as ample, and probably even more ample, especially if he have to keep up an appearance, both as a man of wealth and a magistrate.”


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