World map with countries for In the diagram, wealth flows year by year between the productive and unproductive classes. Good economic policy, said the physiocrats, caused enough wealth to flow to the productive classes to maintain and increase their output over time. Bad economic policy allowed wealth to flow away from the productive classes into the hands of the unproductive. In effect, the physiocrats argued that good economic policy favored agriculture and mining at the expense of manufacturing and commerce, while bad economic policy did the reverse. The implications of this view were not always easy to predict: for example, the physiocrats advocated abolishing all taxes except those on landlords; laborers and businesspeople would pay no tax. Whatever their errors, the physiocrats are today recognized as the first economists to treat a nation’s economy as a system of interacting sectors between which wealth flowed over time. Some of their ideas were anticipated by the Irish economist Richard Cantillon in his Essay on Commerce (1755) and extended by the Scottish economist Smith in his famous The Wealth of Nations (1776). World map with countries 2016.