Economic Sophisms/193

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh""And why is it forbidden?"

"In order that the coat may cost 100 instead of 80 francs."

"This prohibition, then, costs you 20 francs."


"And where do these 20 francs go to?"

"Where should they go to, but into the pocket of the cloth-manufacturer?"

"Well, then, give me 10 francs for the Treasury, I will abrogate the prohibition, and you will still be a gainer of 10 francs."

"Oh! I begin to follow you. The account with the Treasury will then stand thus: The revenue loses 5 francs upon salt, and 5 upon postages, and gains 10 francs upon cloth. The one balances the other."

"And your own account stands thus: You gain 5 francs upon salt, 5 francs upon postages, and 10 francs upon cloth."

"Total, 20 francs. I like your plan; but what comes of the poor cloth-manufacturer?"

"Oh! I have not lost sight of him. I manage to give him compensation likewise by means of dégrèvement s which are profitable to the revenue; and what I have done for you as regards cloth, I do for him as regards wool, coals, machinery, etc., so that he is enabled to reduce his price without being a loser."

"But are you sure that the one will balance the other?"

"The balance will be in his favour. The 20 francs which I enable you to gain upon cloth, will be augmented by the amount I enable you to save upon corn, meat, fuel, etc. This will amount to a large sum; and a similar saving will be realized by each of your 35 millions of fellow-countrymen. In this way, you will find the means of consuming all the cloth produced at Verviers and Elbeuf. The nation will be better clothed; that is all."

"I shall think over it; for all this, I confess, confuses my head somewhat."

"After all, as regards clothing, the main consideration is to be clothed. Your limbs are your own, and not the property of the manufacturer. To protect them from the cold is your business and not his! If the law takes his part against you, the law is unjust; and we have been reasoning hitherto on the hypothesis that what is unjust is injurious."