Economic Sophisms/207

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh""Would you not feel such a proposal to be anti-social and monstrous?

"How is it that this consideration of profits, nay, of simple remuneration, never presents itself to our minds when the question regards the circulation of commodities, and yet appears so natural when the question regards the circulation of ideas?

"Perhaps it is the result of habit. If we had a postal system to create, it would most assuredly appear monstrous to establish it on a principle of revenue.

"And yet remark that oppression is more glaring in this case than in the other.

"When Government has opened a new road it forces no one to make use of it. (It would do so undoubtedly if the use of the road were taxed.) But while the Post-office regulations continue to be enforced, no one can send a letter through any other channel, were it to his own mother.

"The rate of postage, then, in principle, ought to be remunerative, and, for the same reason, uniform.

"If we set out with this idea, what marvellous beauty, facility, and simplicity does not the reform I am advocating present !

"Here is the whole thing nearly put into the form of a law.

Template:Fs90/s "'ARTICLE 1. From and after 1st January next there will be exposed to sale, in every place where the Government judges it expedient, stamped envelopes and covers, at the price of a halfpenny or a penny.

"'2. Every letter put into one of these envelopes, and not exceeding the weight of half an ounce, every newspaper or print put into one of these covers, and not exceeding the weight of … will be transmitted, and delivered without cost at its address.

"'3. All Post-office accounting is entirely suppressed. "'4. All pains and penalties with reference to the conveyance of letters are abolished.' Template:Fs90/e

"That is very simple, I admit—much too simple; and I anticipate a host of objections.

"That the system I propose may be attended with drawbacks is not the question; but whether yours is not attended with more.

"In sober earnest, can the two (except as regards revenue) be put in comparison for a moment?

"Examine both. Compare them as regards facility, convenience, despatch, simplicity, order, economy, justice, equality, multiplication of transactions, public satisfaction, moral and Template:Hws