Bryan Caplan  

Stop Thinking Like a Tourist: Macaulay Edition

Henderson and Cochrane on Clim... I, Needle Nose Pliers...
My son Tristan recently quoted this passage from Thomas Macaulay's "Southey's Colloquies on Society" - and I instantly realized that telling people to stop thinking like a tourist goes back over a century:
Mr. Southey has found out a way, he tells us, in which the effects of manufactures and agriculture may be compared. And what is this way? To stand on a hill, to look at a cottage and a factory, and to see which is the prettier.

COMMENTS (2 to date)
Daniel Klein writes:

Reminds me of this in Smith's TMS:

"A prison is certainly more useful to the public than a palace; and the person who founds the one is generally directed by a much juster spirit of patriotism, than he who builds the other. But the immediate effects of a prison, the confinement of the wretches shut up in it, are disagreeable; and the imagination either does not take time to trace out the remote ones, or sees them at too great a distance to be much affected by them. A prison, therefore, will always be a disagreeable object; and the fitter it is for the purpose for which it was intended, it will be the more so. A palace, on the contrary, will always be agreeable; yet its remote effects may often be inconvenient to the public."

john hare writes:

A factory is much prettier as it enables many people to afford cottages. Doesn't work for the myopic.

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