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Ricardo's Words

January 14, 2004

Re: Johnsson, here's  Ricardo:

"It would undoubtedly be advantageous to the capitalists of England, and to the consumers in both countries, that under such circumstances [Portugal's absolute advantage in the production of all tradable goods and services discussed in Ricardo's preceding paragraphs], the wine and the cloth should both be made in Portugal, and therefore that the capital and labour of England employed in making cloth, should be removed to Portugal for that purpose.  . . .  Experience, however, shews, that the fancied or real insecurity of capital, when not under the immediate control of its owner, together with the natural disinclination which every man has to quit the country of  his birth and connexions, and intrust himself with all his habits fixed, to a strange government and new laws, checks the emigration of capital. These feelings, which I should be sorry to see weakened, induce most men of property to be satisfied with a low rate of profits in their own country, rather than seek a more advantageous employment for their wealth in foreign nations. "

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