As Adam Smith once said:
There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.
The phrase’s context is explained here:
Sir John Sinclair reported to Adam Smith that the British army had been defeated by the American rebels. Sir John said, “If we go on at this rate, the nation must be ruined.” Smith replied, “Be assured young friend, that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation.”
I think the context for me was this article; a good one, but not what I thought I was looking for.