Economic Sophisms/209

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<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"4½d., would constitute likewise a reduction of seven-eighths. We may therefore be allowed to expect the same result—that is to say, 417 millions of letters, in place of 116 millions.

"But let us count on 300 millions.

"Is there any exaggeration in assuming that with a rate of postage one half less, we shall reach an average of 8 letters to each inhabitant when in England they have reached 13.

  1. Template:X-smaller
  2. Now 300 millions of letters, at 5 centimes, give
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    15
  3. 100 millions of journals and prints, at 5 centimes, give
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    5
  4. Travellers by malles-postes,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    4
  5. Money parcels,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    4
  6. Total receipts,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    28
  7. The present expense (which may diminish) is
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    31Template:Gap
  8. Deducting for mail steamers,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    5Template:Gap
  9. There remains for despatches, travellers, and money parcels,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    —— 26
  10. Net product,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    2
  11. At present the net product is
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    19
  12. Loss, or rather reduction of gain,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    17

"Now I ask whether the Government, which makes a positive sacrifice of 800 millions (£32,000,000) per annum in order to facilitate the gratuitous transport of passengers, should not make a negative sacrifice of 17 millions, in order not to make a gain upon the transmission and circulation of ideas?

"But the Treasury, I am aware, has its own habits, and with whatever complacence it sees its receipts increase, it feels proportional disappointment in seeing them diminished by a single farthing. It seems to be provided with those admirable valves which in the human frame allow the blood to flow in one direction, but prevent its return. Be it so. The Treasury is perhaps a little too old for us to quicken its pace. We have no hope, therefore, that it will give in to us. But what will be said if I, Jacques Bonhomme, show it a way which is simple, easy, convenient, and essentially practical, of doing a great service to the country without its costing a single farthing?

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