In a (very) short essay, Montaigne maintained that, for example, the doctor’s opportunity to earn income arose from others’ illness. The farmer’s opportunity to earn income arose from others’ hunger. And so on. The opportunity to earn income came, according to Montaigne, from the undesirable circumstances in which we find ourselves.
.. What the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises called “felt uneasiness” gives rise to opportunities for profit, but it is not the felt uneasiness as such that is the source of the profit. Rather, the source of profit is the entrepreneur’s ability to alleviate another’s felt uneasiness.
.. I humbly propose that our political leaders understand an important lesson. Voluntary trade is not conflict, it is not combat, and there are no losers. In a voluntary society, the profit of one is not the damage of another. The profit of one is the benefit of another.