Economic Sophisms/106

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"They demand that foreign labour should be subjected to restrictions and taxes. These are the means employed by the system of prohibition.

What difference, then, can we possibly discover between the Bordeaux petitioners and the Corypheus of restriction? One difference, and one only—the greater or less extension given to the word labour.

M. de Saint-Cricq extends it to everything, and so he wishes to protect all.

"Labour constitutes all the wealth of a people," he says; "to protect agricultural industry, and all agricultural industry; to protect manufacturing industry, and all manufacturing industry, is the cry which should never cease to be heard in this Chamber."

The Bordeaux petitioners take no labour into account but that of the manufacturers; and for that reason they would admit them to the benefits of protection.

"Raw materials are commodities upon which no human labour has been bestowed. In principle, we should not tax them. Manufactured products can no longer serve the cause of national industry, and we regard them as the best subjects for taxation."

It is not our business in this place to inquire whether protection to national industry is reasonable. M. de Saint-Cricq and the Bordeaux gentlemen are at one upon this point, and, as we have shown in the preceding chapters, we on this subject differ from both.

Our present business is to discover whether it is by M. de Saint-Cricq, or by the Bordeaux petitioners, that the word labour is used in a correct sense.

Now, in this view of the question, we think that M. de Saint-Cricq has very much the best of it; and to prove this, we may suppose them to hold some such dialogue as the following:—

M. DE SAINT-CRICQ: You grant that national labour should be protected. You grant that the products of no foreign labour can be introduced into our market without superseding a corresponding amount of our national labour. Only, you contend that there are a multiplicity of products possessed of value (for they sell), but upon which no human labour has been bestowed [vierges de tout travail humain]. And you enumerate, amongTemplate:Smallrefs