Economic Sophisms/237

<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"time; I should produce only five hundredweights of iron during the time I am occupied in making a clock." Utopian dreamer, we reply, that is the very reason why we forbid you to make the clock, and order you to make the iron. Don't you see we are providing employment for you?

Sire, it cannot have escaped your sagacity that this is exactly the same thing in effect as if we were to say to the country, "Work with your left hand, and not with the right."

To create obstacles in order to furnish labour with an opportunity of developing itself, was the principle of the old system of restriction, and it is the principle likewise of the new system which is now being inaugurated. Sire, to regulate industry in this way is not to innovate, but to persevere.

As regards the efficiency of the measure, it is incontestable. It is difficult, much more difficult than one would suppose, to do with the left hand what we have been accustomed to do with the right. You will be convinced of this. Sire, if you will condescend to make trial of our system in a process which must be familiar to you; as, for example, in shuffling a pack of cards. For this reason, we flatter ourselves that we are opening to labour an unlimited career.

When workmen in all departments of industry are thus confined to the use of the left hand, we may figure to ourselves, Sire, the immense number of people that will be wanted to supply the present consumption, assuming it to continue invariable, as we always do when we compare two different systems of production with one another. So prodigious a demand for manual labour cannot fail to induce a great rise of wages, and pauperism will disappear as if by enchantment.

Sire, your paternal heart will rejoice to think that this new law of ours will extend its benefits to that interesting part of the community whose destinies engage all your solicitude. What is the present destiny of women in France? The bolder and more hardy sex drives them insensibly out of every department of industry.

Formerly, they had the resource of the lottery offices. These offices have been shut up by a pitiless philanthropy, and on what pretext? "To save the money of the poor." Alas! the

poor man never obtained for a piece of money enjoyments as