Once in a while I read a column and really, really wish I had written it. For weeks I have been looking for the historical analogy with which to illustrate the argument that removing debt from the economy is not the same as taking money out of circulation. Dominic Lawson in today's Independent has found exactly the right example: Frederic Bastiat's advice to the French National Assembly in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars. In doing so Mr Lawson also offers a compelling antidote to the argument that reduced state spending is inimical to growth. He also offers a powerful incentive to read and reread the history of the French revolution. It inspired Karl Marx too, of course (the revolution that is, not Dominic Lawson's column).