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Hume on Pessimistic Bias

Summary:
A nice quote on pessimistic bias during the reign of King James I from Hume's History of England:Every session of parliament, during this reign, we meet with grievous lamentations concerning the decay of trade and the growth of popery: Such violent propensity have men to complain of the present times, and to entertain discontent against their fortune and condition. The king himself was deceived by these popular complaints, and was at a loss to account for the total want of money, which he heard so much exaggerated. It may, however, be affirmed, that, during no preceding period of English history, was there a more sensible encrease, than during the reign of this monarch, of all the advantages which

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A nice quote on pessimistic bias during the reign of King James I from Hume's History of England:
Every session of parliament, during this reign, we meet with grievous lamentations concerning the decay of trade and the growth of popery: Such violent propensity have men to complain of the present times, and to entertain discontent against their fortune and condition. The king himself was deceived by these popular complaints, and was at a loss to account for the total want of money, which he heard so much exaggerated. It may, however, be affirmed, that, during no preceding period of English history, was there a more sensible encrease, than during the reign of this monarch, of all the advantages which distinguish a flourishing people. Not only the peace which he maintained, was favourable to industry and commerce: His turn of mind inclined him to promote the peaceful arts: And trade being as yet in its infancy, all additions to it must have been the more evident to every eye, which was not blinded by melancholy prejudices.
HT: Dan Klein


Bryan Caplan

Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center. He has published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and has appeared on 20/20, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. Bryan Caplan blogs on EconLog.

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