15 Mar 2013

Sentences That Nowadays Would Disqualify You as Finance Minister of Austria

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“How many an Indian tribe, in its foolish eagerness for pleasure, has sold to the palefaces the land of its fathers, the reservoir of its means of sustenance, in return for a few barrels of ‘firewater’!” — Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, The Positive Theory of Capital, page 268

4 Responses to “Sentences That Nowadays Would Disqualify You as Finance Minister of Austria”

  1. Major_Freedom says:

    Military and agriculture dominated pre-20th century economic thought to the point where even subjective value theorists shuddered at land liquidation sales.

  2. Matt M says:

    A few barrels of firewater seems like a good deal compared to what I was taught. When I was in school, I was told we got all their land for some glass beads, or we simply took it with force and offered nothing in exchange.

    • Joseph Fetz says:

      That happened, too. There were many chartered and proprietary colonies, the chartered colonies tended to be less businesslike. It’s very interesting to read not only about how the colonists dealt with the natives, but also how they dealt with each other. In most cases the colonies that treated the natives pretty bad also treated other colonists (and their own) just as bad or worse.

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