Economic Sophisms/234

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"Template:Hwe, and foresee everything, in order to direct the people, and that the people have simply to allow themselves to be led,

Reply by asking: "Is there a state apart from the people? is there a human foresight apart from humanity? Archimedes might repeat every day of his life, 'With a fulcrum and lever I can move the world;' but he never did move it, for want of a fulcrum and lever. The lever of the state is the nation; and nothing can be more foolish than to found so many hopes upon the state, which is simply to take for granted the existence of collective science and foresight, after having set out with the assumption of individual imbecility and improvidence."

If any one says, "I ask no favour, but only such a duty on bread and meat as shall compensate the heavy taxes to which I am subjected; only a small duty equal to what the taxes add to the cost price of my corn,"

Reply: "A thousand pardons; but I also pay taxes. If, then, the protection which you vote in your own favour has the effect of burdening me as a purchaser of corn with exactly your share of the taxes, your modest demand amounts to nothing less than establishing this arrangement as formulated by you: 'Seeing that the public charges are heavy, I, as a seller of corn, am to pay nothing, and you my neighbour, as a buyer of corn, are to pay double, viz., your own share and mine into the bargain.' Mr Corn-merchant, my good friend, you may have force at your command, but assuredly you have not reason on your side."

If any one says to you, "It is, however, exceedingly hard upon me, who pay taxes, to have to compete in my own market with the foreigner, who pays none,


"1st, In the first place, it is not your market^ but our market. I who live upon corn and pay for it, should surely be taken into account.

"2d, Few foreigners at the present day are exempt from taxes.

"3d, If the taxes you vote yield you in roads, canals, security, etc., more than they cost you, you are not justified in repelling, at my expense, the competition of foreigners, who, if they do not pay taxes, have not the advantages you enjoy in roads,

canals, and security. You might as well say, 'I demand a