Jean-Baptiste Say argues that there is a world of difference between private consumption and public consumption; an increase in the latter does nothing to increase public wealth (1803)

Jean-Baptiste Say (1767-1832) in his influential Treatise on Political Economy (1803) drew a distinction between private and public consumption, viewing an increase in the latter as no way to increase public wealth:

Jefferson tells Congress that since tax revenues are increasing faster than population then taxes on all manner of items can be “dispensed with” (i.e. abolished) (1801)

In his first annual message to Congress in 1801, President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) discussed how the tax burden could be reduced and warned how "accumulated treasure" could tempt regimes to go to war in the future:

Nassau Senior objected to any government regulation of factories which meant that a horde of inspectors would interfere with the organization of production (1837)

The English economist Nassau Senior (1790-1864) complained in Letters on the Factory Act that one consequence of the new Act of 1833 would be to allow government inspectors to interfere with the smooth running of cotton factories:

Confucius edited this collection of poems which contains a poem about “Yellow Birds” who ravenously eat the crops of the local people, thus alienating them completely (520 BC)

In the ancient Chinese collection of poems known as the Shih King, probably edited by Confucius, there is a touching verse which laments the ravenous yellow birds in a foreign land where they are not welcomed:

John Adams predicts a glorious future for America under the new Constitution and is in “reverence and awe” at its future prospects (1787)

In the conclusion to his 3 volume Defence of the Constitutions of the U.S. John Adams looks forward to the very great promise the new American republican experiment offers the world:

Plato believed that great souls and creative talents produce “offspring” which can be enjoyed by others: wisdom, virtue, poetry, art, temperance, justice, and the law (340s BC)

In the Symposium, Plato argues that ideas such as wisdom and virtue and temperance and justice have their own offspring and that the great poets like Homer or legislators like Solon have "children" which are worthy of admiration and emulation:

Shakespeare has King Henry IV reflect on the reasons for invading the Holy Land, namely to distract people from domestic civil war and to “march all one way” under his banner (1597)

At the very beginning of Shakespeare’s play, King Henry IV expresses frustration that his plans to invade the Holy Lands on a new crusade will have to wait once again until bloody revolt has been put down within England:

Aristotle insists that man is either a political animal (the natural state) or an outcast like a “bird which flies alone” (4thC BC)

In his Politics, Aristotle believed man was a "political animal" because he is a social creature with the power of speech and moral reasoning:

Lord Kames states that the “hoarding appetite” is part of human nature and that it is the foundation of our notion of property rights (1779)

Henry Home, Lord Kames, a leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, argued in Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion (1779) that the "hoarding appetitie" was universal among mankind and that it was the basis of the idea of property rights:

Thucydides on political intrigue in the divided city of Corcyra caused by the “desire to rule” (5thC BC)

In his Third Book of his History of the Peloponnesian Wars (section 82), Thucydides (Hobbes translation) describes the behavior of the different political factions during the revolt in Corcyra in 405 BC:

George Washington warns that the knee jerk reaction of citizens to problems is to seek a solution in the creation of a “new monarch”(1786)

In a letter to John Jay written on August 15, 1786, George Washington worries that, because the states will not grant the central government sufficient "coercive power", they will swing to the other extreme of seeking a new monarch to solve their problems:

Adam Smith observes that the true costs of war remain hidden from the taxpayers because they are sheltered in the metropole far from the fighting and instead of increasing taxes the government pays for the war by increasing the national debt (1776)

In Chapter III: Of Publick Debts in The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith notes that most people put up with slightly higher taxes in wartime in exchange for the "amusement" of reading about imperial exploits, little realizing that the true cost of war has been added to the national debt:

Bruno Leoni argues that expressing one’s economic choice as a consumer in a free market is quite different from making a political choice by means of voting (1961)

The Italian legal philospher Bruno Leoni in a lecture entitled "Voting versus the Market" noticed a key difference bewteen the choices made by individuals in the free market and choices made by those same individuals in voting for candidates for political office:

Plato warns of the people’s protector who, once having tasted blood, turns into a wolf and a tyrant (340s BC)

In Book VIII of The Republic, Plato, in a dialogue with Glaucon, there is a discussion of how democracy turns into tyranny. In one section there is this exchange concerning the way the protector of the people changes into a tyrant wolf by using the courts to destroy his enemies:

William Findley wants to maintain the separation of church and state and therefore sees no role for the “ecclesiastical branch” in government (1812)

William Findley, in his Observations on “The Two Sons of Oil” (1812), defends the American Constitution and the separation of church and state against those who wanted the church to have a role in legislation:

Henry Vaughan argues that it is the voluntary and “universal concurrence of mankind”, not the laws, which makes money acceptable as a medium of exchange (1675)

The English political economist McCulloch was a pioneer historian of economic thought. In his collection of English tracts on money he includes Rice Vaughan’s Discourse of Coin and Coinage (1675) which has an interesting discussion of how the "universal concurrence of mankind" is what makes money money:

James Madison on the need for the people to declare war and for each generation, not future generations, to bear the costs of the wars they fight (1792)

In 1792 James Madison wrote a newspaper article criticizing Rousseau’s plan for introducing "perpetual peace" in Europe. According to Madison, a better way to reduce the incidence of war, especially in a democracy like the U.S., was to make the people pay the full cost of war immediately instead of using debt to force later generations to foot the bill:

J.S. Bach and Martin Luther on how God (the “feste Burg”) helps us gain our freedom (1730)

A moving hymn by Martin Luther, "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott", was put to music by Johann Sebastian Bach. The themes of faith and freedom have spoken powerfully to Protestants ever since:

Thomas Gordon on standing armies as a power which is inconsistent with liberty (1722)

Thomas Gordon, who also wrote under the name of Cato, was an adamant opponent of standing armies, seeing in them a key method of undermining ancient English liberties as he argues in his Discourse of 1722:

Friedrich Hayek rediscovers the importance of Henry Thornton’s early 19th century work on “paper credit” and its role in financing the British Empire (1802)

Friedrich Hayek considered Henry Thornton’s Enquiry into the Paper Credit of Great Britain (1802) to be one of the most important works on money and banking in the 19thC. It was written when Britain suspended cash payments in a financial crisis brought on by the war against France. Hayek observes that:

John Stuart Mill on the “atrocities” committed by Governor Eyre and his troops in putting down the Jamaica rebellion (1866)

In 1866 John Stuart Mill chaired a committee to look into the brutal repression of a mutiny in Jamaica by Governor Eyre. He spoke on the matter several times in the House of Commons. In his Autobiography he observed that:

Percy Bysshe Shelley on the new Constitution of Naples which he hoped would be “as a mirror to make … blind slaves see” (1820)

Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote "Ode to Naples (1820)" on hearing about the proclamation of a Constitutional Government at Naples:

Frédéric Bastiat and the state as “la grande fiction à travers laquelle Tout Le Monde s'efforce de vivre aux dépens de Tout Le Monde (1848)

In 1848, the year of revolution in France and elsewhere, Bastiat writes an amusing polemic against all those who wish use the state to fund their own pet projects:

Ludwig von Mises argues that monopolies are the direct result of government intervention and not the product of any inherent tendency within the capitalist system (1949)

The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises argued that monopolies were the result of government intervention not that of the free market:

Harriet Martineau condemns tariffs as a “vicious aristocratic principle” designed to harm the ordinary working man and woman (1861)

In a series of letters written to Mrs. Chapman in 1861 Harriet Martineau argued that tariff protection not only harmed foreign workers but domestic American workers as well, by means of what she termed this “vicious aristrocratic principle”: