While the Economists declared that the expression 'production, distribution and consumption' of wealth is one and indivisible, and meant nothing but exchange, or commerce, J. B. Say broke it up into its constituent terms and completely changed their meaning. While the Economists defined production to mean bringing the rude produce of the earth into commerce, Say defined it to mean bestowing value on a product. While the Economists defined distribution to mean the intermediate operations between production and consumption, and those only, Say treats of distribution in such a nebulous way that it is difficult to make out distinctly what be means by it. The Economists and Adam Smith used the word consumption (
consommation) to mean purchase pure and simple, or demand; Say defined it to mean the destruction of value, and says that all consumption is a destruction of value. The absurdity of this is patent. When a person purchases (i.e. consumes, in the language of the Economists and Adam Smith) a diamond ring, a piece of plate, a picture, a statue, or a book—does he thereby destroy them? The fact is that consumption, which Say defined to mean destruction, is no part of Economics at all. For Economics is limited to the phenomena of exchange.