Economic Sophisms/175

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"Template:Hwe of labour constitutes the wealth of nations; and the best economic system is that which supplies the people with the greatest amount of employment. The question is not whether it is better to pay four or eight cash for a cup of tea, or five or ten tales for a shirt. These are puerilities unworthy of a thinking mind. Nobody disputes your proposition. The question is whether it is better to pay dearer for a commodity you want to buy, and have, through the abundance of employment and the higher price of labour, the means of acquiring it; or whether it is better to limit the sources of employment, and with them the mass of the national production—to transport, by improved means of transit, the objects of consumption, cheaper, it is true, but taking away at the same time from classes of our population the means of purchasing these objects even at their reduced price."

Seeing the Emperor still unconvinced, Kouang added, "Sire, deign to give me your attention. I have still another quotation from the Moniteur Industriel to bring under your notice.

But the Emperor said:

"I don't require your Chinese journals to enable me to find out that to create obstacles is to divert and misapply labour. But that is not my mission. Go and clear out the canal; and we shall reform the Customhouse afterwards."

And Kouang went away tearing his beard, and appealing to his God, "Fo! take pity on thy people; for we have now got an Emperor of the English school, and I see clearly that in a short time we shall be in want of everything, for we shall no longer require to do anything."