Economic Sophisms/240

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"not enlarged; and the ultimate effect, as far as the nation at large is concerned, is the loss of all that wealth which millions of right hands could produce, compared with what is now produced by an equal number of left hands. At the risk of some inevitable derangements, then, let us form an association, and enforce our right to work with both hands."

Fortunately, Sire, an association has been formed in defence of left-hand labour, and the Sinistristes will have no difficulty in demolishing all these generalities, suppositions, abstractions, reveries, and Utopias. They have only to exhume the Moniteur Industriel for 1846, and they will find ready-made arguments against freedom of trade, which refute so admirably all that has been urged in favour of right-hand liberty that it is only necessary to substitute the one word for the other.

"The Parisian free-trade league has no doubt of securing the concurrence of the workmen. But the workmen are no longer men who can be led by the nose. They have their eyes open, and they know political economy better than our professors. Free trade, they say, will deprive us of employment, and labour is our wealth. With employment, with abundant employment, the price of commodities never places them beyond our reach. Without employment, were bread at a halfpenny a pound, the workman would die of hunger. Now your doctrines, instead of increasing the present amount of employment, would diminish it, that is to say, would reduce us to poverty.

"When there are too many commodities in the market, their price falls, no doubt But as wages always fall when commodities are cheap, the result is that, instead of being in a situation to purchase more, we are no longer able to buy anything. It is when commodities are cheap that the workman is worst off."

It will not be amiss for the Sinistristes to intermingle some menaces with their theories. Here is a model for them:—

"What! you desire to substitute right-hand for left-hand labour, and thus force down, or perhaps annihilate wages, the sole resource of the great bulk of the nation!

"And, at a time when a deficient harvest is imposing painful privations on the workman, you wish to disquiet him as to his future, and render him more accessible to bad advice, and moreTemplate:Smallrefs