Economic Sophisms/210

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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""The Post-office yields a gross return to the

  1. Treasury of
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    50 millions
  2. The salt-tax,
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    70 Template:Gap
  3. Customs,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    160 Template:Gap
  4. Template:Gap
  5. Template:GapTotal yield of these three services,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    280 millions

"Now, bring down postages to the uniform rate of 5 centimes (a halfpenny).

"Lower the salt-tax to 10 francs (8s.) the hundredweight, as the Chamber has already voted.

"Give me power to modify the customs tariff in such a way that I shall he peremptorily prohibited from increasing any duty, but that I may lower duties at pleasure.

"And I, Jacques Bonhomme, guarantee you a revenue, not of 280 millions, but of 300 millions. Two hundred French bankers will be my sureties, and all I ask for my reward is as much as these three taxes will produce over and above 300 millions.

"Is it necessary for me to enumerate the advantages of my proposal?

"1. The people will receive all the advantage resulting from cheapness in the price of an article of the first necessity—salt.

"2. Fathers will be able to write to their sons, and mothers to their daughters. Nor will men's affections and sentiments, and the endearments of love and friendship, be stemmed and driven back into their hearts, as at present, by the hand of the tax-gatherer.

"3. To carry a letter from one friend to another will no longer be inscribed in our code as a crime.

"4. Trade will revive with liberty, and our merchant shipping will recover from its humiliation.

"5. The Treasury will gain at first twenty millions, afterwards it will gain all that shall accrue to the revenue from other sources through the saving realized by each citizen on salt, postages, and other things, the duties on which have been lowered.

If my proposal is rejected, what am I to conclude? Provided the bankers I represent offer sufficient security, under what pretext can my proposal be refused acceptance? It is impossibleTemplate:Smallrefs