Economic Sophisms/222

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"What is restriction?"

"It is partial prohibition."

"What is prohibition?"

"Absolute restriction."

"So that what holds true of the one, holds true of the other?"

"Yes; the difference is only one of degree. There is between them the same relation as there is between a circle and the arc of a circle."

"Then, if prohibition is bad, restriction cannot be good?"

"No more than the arc can be correct if the circle is irregular."

"What is the name which is common to restriction and prohibition?"


"What is the definitive effect of protection?"

"To exact from men a greater amount of labour for the same result."

"Why are men attached to the system of protection?"

"Because as liberty enables us to obtain the same result with less labour, this apparent diminution of employment frightens them."

"Why do you say apparent?"

"Because all labour saved can be applied to something else."

"To what?"

"That I cannot specify, nor is there any need to specify it"