Economic Sophisms/223

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

"Because if the sum of satisfactions which the country at present enjoys could be obtained with one-tenth less labour, no one can enumerate the new enjoyments which men would desire to obtain from the labour left disposable. One man would desire to be better clothed, another better fed, another better educated, another better amused."

"Explain to me the mechanism and the effects of protection."

"That is not an easy matter. Before entering on consideration of the more complicated cases, we must study it in a very simple one."

"Take as simple a case as you choose."

"You remember how Robinson Crusoe managed to make a plank when he had no saw."

"Yes; he felled a tree, and then, cutting the trunk right and left with his hatchet, he reduced it to the thickness of a board."

"And that cost him much labour ?"

"Fifteen whole days' work."

"And what did he live on during that time?"

"He had provisions."

"What happened to the hatchet?"

"It was blunted by the work."

"Yes; but you perhaps do not know this: that at the moment when Robinson was beginning the work he perceived a plank thrown by the tide upon the seashore."

"Happy accident! he of course ran to appropriate it?" "That was his first impulse; but he stopped short, and began to reason thus with himself:—

"'If I appropriate this plank, it will cost me only the trouble of carrying it, and the time needed to descend and remount the cliff. 0 "'But if I form a plank with my hatchet, first of all, it will procure me fifteen days' employment; then my hatchet will get blunt, which will furnish me with the additional employment of sharpening it; then I shall consume my stock of provisions, which will be a third source of employment in replacing them. Now, labour is wealth. It is clear that I should ruin myself by

appropriating the shipwrecked plank. I must protect my Template:Hws