Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XI.: Of the employment of our riches, or of Consumption. - A Treatise On Political Economy
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CHAPTER XI.: Of the employment of our riches, or of Consumption. - Antoine Louis Claude, Comte Destutt de Tracy, A Treatise On Political Economy 
A Treatise on Political Economy: to which is Prefixed a Supplement to a Preceding Work on the Understanding or Elements of Ideology; with an Analytical Table, and an Introduction on the Faculty of the Will (Georgetown: Joseph Milligan, 1817).
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Of the employment of our riches, or of Consumption.
After having explained how our riches are formed, and how they are distributed, it is easy to see how we use them.
Consumption is always the reverse of production.
It varies however according to the species of consumers, and the nature of the things consumed. First let us consider the consumers.
The consumption of the hired ought to be regarded as made by the capitalists who employ them.
These capitalists are either the idle who live on their revenue, or the active who live on their profits.
The first remunerate only sterile labour. Their entire consumption is a pure loss, accordingly they cannot expend annually more than their revenue.
The others expend annually all their funds, and all those which they hire of the idle capitalists; and sometimes they expend them several times in the year.
Their consumption is of two kinds.
That which they make for the satisfaction of their personal wants is definitive and sterile, as that of idle men.
That which they make in their quality of industrious men returns to them with profit.
It is with these profits they pay their personal expenses, and the interest due to idle capitalists.
Thus they find that they pay both the hirelings whom they immediately employ, and the idle proprietors and their hirelings; and all this returns to them by the purchases which all those people make of their productions.
It is this which constitutes circulation, of which productive consumption is the only fund.
In regard to the nature of things consumed, consumption the most gradual is the most economical the most prompt; is the most destructive.
We see that luxury, that is to say superfluous consumption, can neither accelerate circulation nor increase its funds. It only substitutes useless for useful expenses.
It is like inequality, an inconvenience attached to the increase of riches; but it can never be the cause of their augmentation.
History plainly shows what happens wherever useless expenses have been suppressed.
All theories contrary to this reduce themselves to this untenable proposition. That to destroy is to produce.