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David Ricardo
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    (April 18, 1772-September 11, 1823)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Member of Parliament for Portarlington (1819-23)
    Wrote 'On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation' (1817)
    Developed the Theory of Comparative Advantage that a nation should specialize in the fields where it is most competitive internationally and obtain other products by trade
    Developed the Iron Law of Wages claiming that wages tend to naturally stabilize at a bare subsistence level
    He made his fortune on the stock market by using insider information about the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo.
    He got his Parliamentary seat by loaning £25,000 to Lord Portarlington, who then instructed his tenants (the only residents of the borough) to vote for Ricardo.
    The inscription on his gravestone erroneously claims he was born in Holland. (His parents had immigrated from there.)
    After he eloped with a Quaker and converted from Judaism, his father disowned him and his mother never spoke to him again.
    He was an abolitionist who called the slave trade a stain on the British character.
    John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, 'It is David Ricardo's unique position in history that he was innovating force in both capitalist and socialist thought.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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