Economic Sophisms/199

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"Template:Hwe, they have not crystallized. Nothing has come out of the crucible, and the experiment has been a failure.

The chemists will by-and-by come before the jury and explain the causes of the breakdown.

One will say, "I proposed a postal reform; but the Chamber wished first of all to rid us of the salt-tax, and I gave it up."

Another will say, "I voted for doing away with the salt-tax, but the Minister had proposed a postal reform, and my vote went for nothing."

And the jury, finding these reasons satisfactory, will begin the experiment of new on the same data, and remit the work to the same chemists.

This proves that it would be well for us, notwithstanding the sources from which it is derived, to adopt the practice introduced half a century ago on the other side of the Channel, of prosecuting only one reform at a time. It is slow, it is wearisome; but it leads to some result.

Here we have a dozen reforms on the anvil at the same time. They hustle one another, like the ghosts at the Gate of Oblivion, where no one enters.


Template:FqmOhimè! che lasso!
Una a la volta, per carità."


Here is what Jacques Bonhomme said, in a dialogue with John Bull, and it is worth being reported:—


JACQUES BONHOMME: Oh! who will deliver me from this hurricane of reforms? My head is in a whirl. A new one seems to be invented every day: university reform, financial reform, sanitary reform, parliamentary reform, electoral reform, commercial reform, social reform, and, last of all, comes postal reform!

JOHN BULL: As regards the last, it is so easy and so useful, as we have found by experience, that I venture to give you some advice upon the subject.

JACQUES: We are told that postal reform has turned out ill in England, and that the Exchequer has lost half a million.

JOHN: And has benefited the public by ten times that sum.

JACQUES: No doubt of that.