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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 4

Universal Consumption not Extravagance

Universal Consumption not Extravagance.

Some believe a larger consumption by the people generally, is a dangerous encouragement to extravagance. They confound the enlarged necessities of a higher civilization with the recklessness of dissipation. They forget that increasing consumption is a token of progress, in favorable contrast with the simple wants of barbarism. The undeveloped virgin soil, the home of naked savages, is valueless, until the industry of civilization has given an impetus to production.

Consumption stimulates industry, and he who is usefully busy cannot be very vicious. The brigands on the world's moral high-ways generally do not come from refined homes or trained industry. They are usually the fungous growth of idleness, entailed on society like some loathsome hereditary disease. A plague, or fever receives prompt attention to ensure abatement, while idleness, more hurtful, and yet remedial by legislation, for ages has been overlooked.