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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–59)
QUOTATION: The business of government is not directly to make the people rich, but to protect them in making themselves rich; and a government which attempts more than this is precisely the government which is likely to perform less. Governments do not and cannot support the people.
ATTRIBUTION: THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY, speech on parliamentary reform, March 2, 1831.—The Complete Writings of Lord Macaulay, vol. 17, p. 39 (1900).
SUBJECTS: Government—purpose of