Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
(?-1899)
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First Pub. Date
1881
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New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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1899
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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PROTECTION IN THE UNITED STATES.

III.105.1

PROTECTION IN THE UNITED STATES. UNITED STATES TARIFF. Imposition of duties on imports from foreign countries for the encouragement, promotion and defense of native industry. The fundamental principle which justifies this practice, and makes it needful, is found in the fact that protection, in the broadest acceptance of the term, is not only the sole function of government, but the primal object sought in establishing its authority. Although God has constituted man a social being, so that the race is everywhere and always in communities, yet man's nature is such that his emotions, which centre upon himself, are very much stronger than his sympathies, which go out toward his fellow-creatures; in other words, "he feels more intensely what affects him directly than what affects him indirectly through others." In all the elements of reality and importance his own pains, aches, troubles, plans, desires, appear to his mind far superior to those of other people. Consequently, every person has a higher regard for what he conceives to be his own safety, or his own welfare or his own happiness, than he has for the safety, welfare and happiness of others, and, when these come in opposition, is ready to sacrifice the interests of others to his own. Out of this constitution of man's nature arises in society a universal tendency to strife between individuals, leading, unless prevented, to wrongs, oppressions and crimes of every sort. Restraint thus becomes indispensable for the preservation and for the advancement of society. That restraint invariably takes the form of government, which is found, of some description, wherever there is a community, either civilized, barbarous or savage. The sole purpose of instituting government is, therefore, to obtain and secure protection. All the functions of government, legislative, judicial, executive, and whatever, in all their branches and acts, resolve themselves into this—to protect the rights of person and property. Moreover, the human race is divided into nations, and these are as different, in their conditions, resources, interests, capacities, motives, as individuals are, with equal tendency to clash, and to encroachment one upon another. For instance, England has for her object to manufacture for the world, to monopolize the bulk of reproductive power, to keep all lands, especially her own colonies, in a state of industrial infancy and vassalage, by political management as well as by the superiority of her capital, by her cheap labor, by her skill, and by her navy and her mercantile marine. Her policy is to have other countries compete in her home market for the sale of their raw materials to the end that she may be enabled to fix the prices of what she buys; and to have other countries compete in her home market for the purchase of her finished products, to the end that she may be enabled to fix the prices of what she sells, thus becoming mistress of the globe. These aims require that England shall be aggressive and overmastering; hence her trade system first looks outwardly, and hinges largely upon external circumstances. On the contrary, the United States has for its object to bring into harmonious proportion and development, within its own boundaries, the four great branches of industry—agriculture, manufacturing, commerce and transportation—without which national life can not attain to the highest degree of excellence, because the history of growing civilization is a history of a long, tedious, painful progress from a condition in which occupations are few to a condition in which they are many. Our republic has for its object, further, to be free, independent, powerful, but to let every other country enjoy its freedom, independence and power, in its own way; hence our trade system first looks inwardly, and hinges largely upon internal circumstances. These extremes in method of aggrandizement involve all the intermediary differences which distinguish the commercial policy of other nations. Now, the same constitution of man's nature which leads to conflict between individuals in society, leads also to conflict between political communities under different governments, and renders it needful to defend the industrial interests of each against aggression and encroachment from all the others . The United States, as a distint aggregate of persons, possessing common government, common laws, institutions and interests, common history and destiny, constituting one body politic, free and independent, can provide common defense and security of the rights, property and lives of its citizens, only by following the dictates of self-protection, in order to create the greatest amount of common welfare within, and the greatest amount of safety against danger from without. Just as it would be foolish in congress to refuse to have an army, or a navy, or forts, or a military academy, on the plea that mankind would be foolish in congress to refuse to have protective duties on imports, on the plea, that, in a perfect but entirely imaginary state of the human race, foreign free trade would be beneficial to all. It is not the aim of protection to supply the wants and regulate the exchanges of supposititious communities, purified from the vices, villainies, propensities and ills which vex ordinary humanity; purged of mercenary tradesman, gainful arts and counterfeit honesty; freed of greediness in getting and tenacity in keeping, whether it be wealth or authority; devoid of withering competition, down-trodden laborers, and hunger-pinched wretchedness; but, on the contrary, to provide man with what he requires while he continues in society as it is, recognizing the facts, that individual selfishness predominates over individual benevolence; that the strong, unless restrained, will not respect the rights of the weak; that he who plants a sugar estate, dykes a rice plantation, sows a field, erects a factory, or constructs, a ship, needs the firm basis of the laws and institutions of his country to depend upon, as much as he who builds a house needs a solid foundation; that the great elementary object of organizing government, and of conducting legislation under its constitution or form, is to shield property, foster useful industry, and promote the general welfare; and that nations often may and do have interests as antagonistic as those of persons, making it necessary to provide for the defense of each against the cupidity, over-reaching or encroachment of the rest, manifested either in positive ways or through indirection.

III.105.2

—PRINCIPLES AND FACTS. 1. Freedom within, but restraint without, the American rule.

III.105.3

—Every analogy of nature supports the policy of free exchange between the inhabitants of a country, while it is denied between that and other countries. For instance, there is free exchange between the different members of the human body; and it would be the extreme of folly, for it would be death, to protect the kidneys, or the lungs from the blood, or the stomach from the liver; yet, it is highly proper and beneficial to protect all these organs, by suitable clothing, from aggressive, injurious outside influences, and to protect that human body, as a united whole, against encroachment from some other human body. So it is with the body politic. Free exchange between its various parts is essential to its healthy development, and even to its existence; but protection is needed against aggression and encroachment from foreign bodies politic. This internal free trade rests upon the broad foundation of a community of reciprocities or equalities. Whatever there may be of clash between home interests is minimized, and is subject to control by internal forces. There is one contiguous territory, one national language, one central government, one patriotic allegiance, one kind of political institutions, one code of laws, one set of civil obligations, one habit of manners and customs, one standard of societary excellence, one tendency of public opinion. United under one flag, associated under one general authority, and combined into one organism, the people have rights, duties, privileges, benefits, advantages, prospects, interests, which can not be safely shared with any other people. This homogeneous condition is what makes free trade both permissible and beneficent within the borders of each distinct nationality, as, for instance, between the several parts of United States. It is the lack of a concurrent homogeneousness outside of those boundaries which causes foreign free trade to be dangerous. Producers and traders in other countries are not subject to our laws, nor amenable to the processes of our courts, nor obligated to serve upon our juries, nor liable to be drafted into our armies, nor bound to contribute to our internal taxes, nor answerable for non-performance of any of the duties of American citizenship. They are total aliens to our national commonwealth. To permit them to sell their merchandise in our home markets, free of all tariff charge, free of all local burdens, free of all allegiance to our government, would be to exalt perfect strangers above the heads of its own patriotic people in privilege. The foreigner, abiding in a distant land, and often hostile at heart to our free institutions, has no right to ask to be placed on a dead level of commercial benefits with our citizens, who have a round of local burdens incident to those institutions—burdens from which he is exempt. It has cost a vast amount of sacrifice, an immense aggregate of exertion, and an incalculable investment of capital, on the part of our population, through a number of generations, to transform a perfect wilderness into the most opulent and the most desirable of the world's markets. Why should the total alien, without any participation in developing our resources, without sharing in the support of our government, without a personal stake in the welfare of our Union, be allowed to be an exceptionally favored beneficiary of all that toil and effort? There is no way in which he can be compelled to compensate our nationality for the high privilege of admission to our domestic markets except through duties on imports. Only by the imposition of such charges, made adequate to the purpose, can the unequal conditions of comptition be equalized between the alien and the citizen, meeting as rivals in trade upon our soil.

III.105.4

—2. Difference between European and American Protection. The utmost freedom compatible with liberty regulated by law presides over the internal affairs of the United States. Not only to commodities, but also to land, to political franchises, to education, to religion, to speech, and to whatever else, is applied this principle of equal unrestraint. Here, then, is found in completest operation the great natural law of all organized existence, which requires free exchange within, while demanding protection against without. Defensive duties on imports are thus enabled to promote the welfare of the whole community. It is not so in Europe, where restriction, of one kind or another, represses local freedom, as the octroi charges in France, the land monopoly in England, the autocratic method in Russia, and, generally, the grudging limitation of suffrage. Consequently, it is European capitalists, not European laborers, who reap the solid benefits of protective duties. In this country, the laborer is the chief beneficiary. This is the fundamental difference between tariff protection in Europe and in the United States.

III.105.5

—3. Need of diversified industry. The civilization of every community is necessarily graduated by its individual and collective power to command the services of nature; the degree to which industry is diversified among any people affords the surest test of their ability to call the governing forces of matter to their aid; variety in the pursuits of society is not a condition which originates spontaneously the moment there is room for it, and to the extent that surrounding circumstances will permit, but results either from the pressure of population upon the means of subsistence, or from the stimulus of artificial encouragement. To complete the development of man's power over the forces of matter, no single kind of labor will suffice, either agricultural, mechanic, scientific, or manufacturing. Cultivation of the ground subdues the earth only as regards its vegetative properties, and its highest excellence depends upon assistance rendered by the whole circle of the sciences and the arts. Use of the principles involved in the lever, the wheel and axle, the pulley, the inclined plane, the wedge and the screw, while pre-eminently the conquest of mind over matter, commands the services of only one section of the material forces. Delving for ores merely develops for subsequent operations certain products which nature has gratuitously provided in her stupendous laboratory. Systematizing knowledge, although highly promotive of utilitarian results, does little more than set up finger-boards to point out to workers the paths they must follow in accomplishing their task of converting the properties of natural objects into useful and obedient servants. Manufacturing is limited to the arts of reproduction—to changing the condition, shape, arrangement, combination, uses and values of metallic particles, vegetable fibres, and other raw materials. A widespread association of these integral elements of national development is requisite to advance any people to a high position among political communities of modern times. Diversified industry thus lies at the base of all normal progress. The more intelligent, skilled, experienced, productive, prosperous it is, the better for the inhabitants and for the state, and higher and nobler will be the attendant civilization. Hence the interests of labor and of the laborer should be the chief concern of statesmanship; for whatever shackles, cripples, undermines or prostrates them is retrogressive in tendency and force, and strongly detrimental to society. Upon the place in the governmental structure assigned to the industrial element depends the value of the resulting civil and political institutions. In the work of bringing the forces of matter under the control of man, diversified pursuits march hand in hand, evermore co-operating to produce and hasten the same general attainment. Acting, together, they assault nature in her strongholds, and wrest from her possession her most treasured secrets, and explanation of her most occult processes. At every step of this concerted movement, knowledge acquires some new insight into the laws which govern the material world, resulting in augmented ability to use them for practical ends. Thus, so long as science maintained that earth, air, fire and water were elementary substance, it was impossible to find out that the rusting of metals, the formation of acids, the burning of inflammable bodies, the breathing of animals, and the growth of plants by night, involve the same operation: or that the diamond embodies, under dissimilar conditions, the same substance as charcoal or graphite; or that water is composed of two gases, one of which is the great feeder of combustion. What amazing accomplishments have arisen from, and what grand possibilities are presented by, the chemical demonstration that the chief constituents of all organic matter are carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen, three of which are gaseous. So long as the nature of electrical phenomena was a sealed book, the invention of the magnetic telegraph was impracticable. What mighty utilitarian results and civilizing influences have grown out of this conquest of mind over matter, bringing two continents, although three thousand miles apart, into instant communication. How meagre would be the accomplishments of bleachers and dyers, were it not for the discoveries of chemistry. How could carpenters and masons safely and correctly estimate the strength of timbers, of walls, of arches, but for the investigations which have been made in mechanical philosophy? How would it be possible for workers in metals to produce the wonderful results they do, were it not for the accumulated knowledge about the nature of those substances, and about their relations to both heat and other metals, and the airs and liquids with which they come in contact? The improvements of the steam engine by Watt resulted from the most learned inquiry into mathematical, mechanical and chemical truths. Indeed, although a man be neither artisan nor farmer, but only one who has a pot to boil, he is indebted to inventive genius, and to discovered principles which govern matter, for power to cook his morsel better, and to both vary and improve his dish. The art of good and cheap cookery—an art never found separate from a high state of civilization—embodies the application of natural laws, which neither would have been brought to light nor devoted to practical purposes by a community of hunters, or of shepherds, or of farmers. Among such peoples little exists to stimulate observation and arouse inquiry as regards the secret workings of nature. But diversified industry is everywhere seen to be the faithful parent of utilitarian investigations, philosophical experiments, scientific discoveries, mechanical development, inventive ingenuity, and serviceable improvements. Its peculiar province is to enlarge the sphere of mental activity, creating a demand for, and calling into exercise, the latent powers of intellect; to make men more expert, skillful and useful in the various kinds of work by which they are to earn their daily bread; and to supply those cogent instrumentalities by which they are enabled to make it go far, and taste well, when earned. Agriculture, science, invention, mining, manufactures, the mechanic arts, transportation, commerce, esthetics, therefore, all are factors in the solution of one stupendous problem—the universal emancipation of mankind from the thralldom of nature. Whatever reinforces one, reinforces all; whatever is detrimental to one, is detrimental to all.

III.105.6

—4. Correlation of industries and human faculties. The protective principle, when established in full operation, secures a diversity of employments suited to the diversified inclinations and aptitudes of the people. Every body politic, like every human body, is necessitated, by virtue of its existence and nature, as a separate and distinct organism, to seek first and preferentially its own safety, welfare, happiness, development, strength and excellence. These qualities, however, are nationally manifested largely or scantily according as they exist largely or scantily in the individuals who compose the nation. God has so constituted society that there must ever be among its members wide differences of natural force talent, appetency and will, unlike capacities, aptitudes, capabilities, endowments, preferences, longings; wholly dissimilar powers of body and of mind. This great diversity in human faculties requires an equally great diversity in human occupations. He who makes a very indifferent farmer, might excel as a machinist. He who is considered a failure as a carpenter, might achieve reputation as a musician. He who is a bungler as a shoemaker, might win applause and wealth as an actor. He who fails as a merchant, might succeed as an inventor. A sailor, a locksmith, a bank clerk and a dancer could not exchange functions. Each person is specially qualified for some one pursuit in life, and less suited for all the rest. If he can not acquire that pursuit and devote to it his labors, there must be a waste of his highest endowment. Its usefulness is lost to the community in which he resides, and to the nation of which he is a unit. When this sort of waste is so general as to embrace a considerable part of the population, the national power must be very far less than it would be with full exercise of the idle adaptabilities. Hence the imperative need of such a policy of government as will insure the diversity of occupations requisite to employ the diversity of capacities.

III.105.7

—An invincible objection to a system of free trade between this and other countries is, that it would operate with increasing tendency to minimize the number of distinct vocations among our people, and thereby dwarf our national vigor and importance through waste of human aptitudes. In a community where agriculture is the sole occupation, there is very little opportunity to develop and employ the mind in the direction of its best faculties. Although a man might be pre-eminently fitted by nature to be a chemist, and although a knowledge of chemistry is essential to a scientific cultivation of the soil, what means or incentive to that end exists in a rural region, where everybody's chief talk is about the crops and the weather? What likelihood is there, in a purely agricultural country, that many of the rising generation will choose, in preference to the calling of the father, to become architects, bookbinders, confectioners, foundrymen, gunsmiths, jewelers, miners, printers, weavers, and so on through the whole round of skilled employments? Certainly there is nothing in the every-day life and surroundings of such a community to call forth the latent capacity for any of these vocations which may exist in the minds of its members. Under such circumstances thousands may continue, to the end of their days, without once suspecting that they possess faculties which need only to be properly cultivated to give them eminence and usefulness in some trade or profession of which they have, perhaps, never even heard the name. Only where industry is greatly diversified can there be a fields of opportunity sufficiently comprehensive to permit a man's own instincts to choose the pursuit which most enlists inclination, gives it functional exercise, and engages its steady perseverance. Then production, whether mental or material, is largest in quantity and highest in quality, because then each particular endowment is occupied with its appropriate work, and available for its utmost contribution to the aggregate result. Individual and national wealth augments very rapidly when such conditions exist in a country, and its government is rendered powerful and efficient by the symmetrical arrangement and advantageous application of the capacities of its citizens. All this is promoted by the atmosphere of intellectual freedom in which the people live, where there is suitable employment for physical strength, for manual skill and dexterity, for inventive genius, for the active and the sedentary, for childhood as well as youth and mature age, nay, even for decrepitude. A people so situated develop the better part of their natures, grow intelligent and exceedingly enterprising, enjoy the maximum of general prosperity, soon understand and respect one another's rights, and become imbued with intense patriotism.

III.105.8

—In the United States, where the recognized and approved standard of comfort among the masses requires an expenditure beyond the reach of the earnings of the masses in any other country, diversity of industry could neither be created nor maintained under a system of foreign free trade. The consequent invasion of manufactures from Europe, displacing our own, would be as destructive to our varied arts as the invasion of the Goths and Vandals was to the Roman empire. Hence protection, in the form of defensive duties on imports, is necessary to secure to our people those industrial conditions which are the most potent of all the auxiliaries of civilization, and without which its fullest development can not be achieved.

III.105.9

—5. The rights of labor. Labor is the greatest part of the capital of every country, because all wealth proceeds originally from production, and all production proceeds from labor. Even the earth, with its prodigious resources, and man himself, are the products of labor—of God's labor—furnishing the basis of all production by the human race. No one can apply his hand or point his finger to an object regarded as capital which is not the result of labor. Whatever exists anywhere under the name of property is the representative of previous labor. So, too, of things not commodities. Government and laws; civil, social and religious institutions; the entire and comprehensive forms and values of human society, are all, severally and collectively, the outcome of human labor. In brief, whatever is has been produced: Production is the sole function of labor, either bodily or mental. But labor's productiveness is dependent upon its ability to find instant and appropriate exercise for labor's function. This moment's power to produce must be utilized this moment. Yesterday's power to produce, unless employed yesterday, must remain forever inoperative. Opportunity to use its potential energies thus becomes absolutely necessary to enable labor to be efficient and copious in production. To the extent that opportunity is absent or neglected, production must be prevented, and to the same extent supply be less for consumption and accumulation. Whatever promotes the activity of labor stimulates, therefore, the growth of individual and national wealth; and whatever slackens that activity regards that growth. The inevitable inference is, that government owes to society the obligation of shaping legislation so as to secure to labor every practicable advantage for the exercise of its productive capacity. Labor thus constitutes the creative force of all betterments which are essential to communities of man. Upon it depend even life, liberty and happiness. Because the multitudinous interests of society are to labor what the superstructure is to the foundation, labor has the first and highest right to full protection. As, in the present stage of civilization the bulk of labor is unable to produce with profit unless its services are hired, its needed protection consists in what will insure steady employment and fair wages.

III.105.10

—But these essentials can not be made safe to labor in the United States when it is undefended against excessive competition from foreign countries. This is why: It has been estimated, after careful inquiries, that, on an average, about four-fifths of the cost value of manufactured articles consists of labor alone. Perhaps the problem is too complex to permit the ascertainment of the exact proportion, and the answer which would be correct at one date might not fit the conditions at a subsequent date; but it is unquestionable that the ratio must be very large. To illustrate the case, take a steel rail. There is labor in the ore, labor in the coal or coke, labor in the limestone, labor in the transportation requisite to bring these elements together at the furnace, labor in the pig iron, labor in the spiegeleisen, and labor in the finished rail, besides the labor which originally produced the capital invested in the several mines, invested in the furnaces, invested in the railroads or shipping, and invested in the rollingmill grounds, buildings, machinery and patents. This aggregate of labor value in the final product can leave only a small fraction of the whole to represent the raw materials of the manufacture, gratuitously furnished by nature. Since human labor thus contributes the bulk of the commercial value of commodities, it is clear that the selling price must be determined generally by the rate of pay for labor's services. If this rate be so unfairly low as to amount to only subsistence wages, then evidently the products of labor so paid will be able to undersell the products of labor paid comfort wages, except when the latter possess countervailing advantages, such as more and better labor-saving machinery, or more operative processes. Now, it is known that wages in Great Britain are about one-half, and on the continent of Europe about one-third, on the average, of what are paid in the United States. If the products of such scantily paid labor should come, without let or hindrance, into this country, they would necessarily be able to undersell the products of our highly paid labor, doing great wrong and distressful injury to our industrious and patriotic people, who need to be secured against this encroachment upon their rights and the consequent damage. Protection to our labor, to be adequate, must therefore have respect to the difference in the joint cost, price or value of money and labor in the United States and in the countries with which we trade. In no other way than by defensive duties on imports can this difference be offset. The very object of a protective tariff is to equalize between this and foreign nations existing inequalities in the cost of production and in the power of competition. These paramount considerations render such a tariff both justifiable and necessary. To illustrate this position, take a single interest. Iron and steel, with their various forms of reproduction, being admitted, let us suppose, free of duties, or under entry charges low enough to avoid protection, our home producers would be unable, generally speaking, to carry on their business except at a loss, and, sooner or later, would be compelled to succumb before an outrivaling competition, reinforced by the whole strength of our national legislation. In that case, what would become of the numerous laborers who had found remenerative employment in those various industries? What would become of the miners, and of the miners' children; of the furnacemen, and of the furnacemen's children; of the forgemen, and of the forgemen's children; of the moulders, and of the moulders' children; of the rolling-mill hands, and of the machinists, and of the engineers, and of the mechanics; of the men engaged in the allied and dependent arts and trades; in brief, of the entire body of persons who can earn a comfortable livelihood because coal and ores are mined, furnaces in blast, foundries in operation, iron-works busy, machine-shops crowded with orders, rolling-mills run to their fullest capacity, and factories prosperous? On withdrawing the protection of our tariff laws from our domestic industries in general, what would become of the multitude of men and women who work in brass, copper, lead, zinc, tin, nickel, stone, glass, wood, leather, silk, paper, cotton, wool, and other materials? What would become of the local development created and continued in existence by their labors? What would become of the vast amount of capital invested in those diversified pursuits? What would become of the immense aggregate of machinery and of buildings provided at enormous expense to carry on special operations which would have to cease? What would become of the traders and the transporters who thrived on the patronage which so much production had afforded? Who but the government, remiss in its obligation to protect the rights of labor and of property, would have to be held responsible for the widespread and heavy decline in the prices of real estate which would necessarily ensue upon such a comprehensive and fundamental alteration in the condition of affairs? Where else would the blame have to be laid for the increased local taxation for state, county and municipal purposes, which would have to be levied upon other property to make up the deficiency caused by such prodigious derangement and fall of prices, and by such an enervating decrease of the productive forces? Finally, what substantial or permanent gain would there be to show for all this demolition of home resources, this prostration of manufacturing industry, this invasion of the rights of labor, this sacrifice of assured prosperity to satisfy a visionary experiment, this paralysis of vital interests, this inauguration of wholesale suffering among those who live by wages?

III.105.11

—It is asserted that the multitude of skilled laborers thus thrust out of employment could find work and pay in more productive occupations, in those which could exist without the aid of a tariff on imports. But the skill of these laborers—forming the valuable capital acquired by them through years of persevering training, fitting them to perform certain services better and more profitably than any other service—would cease to be available as an element in reckoning the rate of wages, and would lose its money value in any different vocation. Every employer needs that his employés shall have both aptitude and knowledge, not the lack of these qualifications; and the highest capacity will be able to obtain the most pay. A druggist will not add one cent to a clerk's salary because he is an excellent machinist, nor a farmer esteem it a pecuniary advantage to hire a man who is a first-class puddler, nor the captain of a vessel feel called upon to give more compensation to a sailor who is a competent filemaker. On the contrary, the inexperience of each applicant for employment in some occupation with which he is unfamiliar, instantly operates to lower the value of his services, and to diminish the amount he can earn. Perhaps he can become a manual day laborer, of whom mechanical skill is not required; but the ranks of that useful class are always full, and, if he adds himself to them, it will tend to break down the wages of them all. Perhaps he can become a farm hand; but there is already a surplus of labor in agriculture, so much so that corn is frequently used for fuel in some parts of the rural west. When a multitude of men are forced by adverse circumstances, out of employment in the trades for which they were trained, they can find new employment only by being absorbed into other occupations; and they can be so absorbed only by reducing the wages in the occupations to which their labor is transferred. Thus the aggregate capital represented in the skill of labor suffers a ruinous depreciation, which is felt, no merely by the laborer himself, but, through the partial or total loss of his earning and purchasing powers, by all with whom he had been accustomed to deal, extending its injurious influences throughout an almost unimaginable complexity of relations. During the years which followed the panic of 1873, the tramp nuisance signally illustrated the effect of driving labor out of its legitimate channels of occupation. Society is obligated, therefore, as well from what it owes to labor, as from a regard to its own best interests, and to all of its interests, to secure to labor those opportunities for steady employment, and those advantages of fair wages, which are indispensable to its welfare, and which will promote its greatest prosperity. This is the only protection which labor asks, and is what it has a right to demand from government.

III.105.12

—6. Cheap production through sacrifice of labor. There is only one way in which defensive duties on imports could be discontinued without bringing ruin upon our diversified industries. If our labor would promptly consent to resign itself to unfairly low, or subsistence, orslavery wages, such as are doled out of European labor, foreign competition could be overmastered and our establishments could survive. Here the chief elements of mere subsistence are already far cheaper than they are in Europe, and, under a system of scaling prices down to conformity with pittance pay to labor, even food would become much cheaper than it is, while clothing, household utensils, furniture, tenement rents, and nearly all other requirements of the simplest living, would be reduced in cost much below the average in any of the manufacturing countries of the old world. This unparalleled cheapness would enable our subsistence wages to be put at a less rate than they are in any part of Europe. Then we could produce manufactures cheaper than any foreign competitor whatever. But the purchasing power of the masses of our people would be correspondingly low, while their productive power would be largely in advance of their consumption. This would force our producers, as it does the British, to look abroad for markets to take off the surplus, or else a considerable part of production would have to cease, with the result of thrusting a multitude of laborers out of employment and into pauperism, to be supported by public charity or to starve. Under such circumstances we would become exporters of immense quantities and values of finished products, and would be deeply, even vitally, interested in the abolition of hostile tariffs everywhere, as Great Britain is now. Further than that, with the advantage possessed by us in our superior cheapness, as regards both productive cost and selling price, we could and would wrest from Great Britain, not only her foreign markets, but even her home market, and ruin her manufacturing industries, as she now seeks to ruin ours that she may secure a monopoly control ofour market, and thus take off much of her surplus. It would be our selfish interest, as it is hers, to crush out competition wherever encountered throughout the world, and to destroy all the rising arts of reproduction set on foot by other nations. Nor could we be prevented from accomplishing this result, unless those nations should adopt defensive tariffs on imports, efficiently framed and adequately enforced, as we have done. Thus it would be possible for us, therefore, to beat Great Britain at her own game of overmastering cheapness. But what, worth having, would we gain by such a radical change of our present condition? Nothing whatever. Instead, the aggregate loss would be enormous and awful. We would, to begin with, treat man as made for trade, not trade as made for man. Our laborers, deprived of justly high, or comfort, or freedom wages, would quickly sink in the scale of civilization. Within a few generations they would cease to be intelligent, and become ignorant, debased, superstitious, servile, and unfit to be trusted with the ballot. No longer having chances to improve their condition, or to arise above it, they would lose their present incentives to self-respect, to courage, to ambition, to enterprise, to hope. The spirit of man falls with his wages—declines as declines the reward of his industry, toil and care. Crush the latter, and he is crushed. Take away from labor in the United States the elevated, important and commanding position which it now occupies, and let its wages and its situation sink to the European level, then its descent would drag down the edifice of republican institutions and of human freedom. These can not long exist where the rights of labor are not respected. Would general cheapness in the prices of commodities be any compensation for this tremendous sacrifice of all we hold dear and sacred as the results of American liberty?

III.105.13

—7. Cheap production through defense of labor. Protection attains to cheapness of money price in a rational and beneficent way. Under that system the American mechanic, educated, well paid, well clothed, well housed, is not consumed by those large cares, nor deadened by those cruel privations, which beset the life of his European competitor, who rarely has either leisure, inclination or incentive to study out improvements in the processes by which he earns his daily bread. Here, however, the workman, surrounded by a multitude of different industries, is always in the path of intelligently perceiving what is wanting or what is amiss in the old methods, and has a better chance, as well as a stronger inducement, to make the needed progress, whether in machinery, in fabrics or in operations. Without protection, our widely differentiated industry could not exist; without such diversity, there would be lacking, not only the accurate knowledge of details which is requisite to suggest a higher excellence in productive instrumentalities, but also the hope of reward essential to spur the mind to experimental effort. An improved plow is not expected from sailors, who are ignorant of agriculture; an improved ship is not expected from farmers, who have no practical acquaintance with the ocean. If Whitney had not seen cotton growing, and learned both the difficulties and the cost of separating the seed, it is probable that he would not have invented the cotton gin. If the spinning of cotton had not been carried on in England at all, during Arkwright's life, it is altogether unlikely that he would have invented the spinning frame. Our successful inventors have generally been poor men, whose daily experience at their work has shown them some defect in its processes, or suggested some more useful mode of reaching its results. In this manner the drudgery of human hands is gradually transferred to muscles of iron and steel, one machine doing the work of several or many men, with constantly decreasing cost of its production. These automatic appliances rise in the scale of excellence until a correspondingly high degree of excellence, which means intelligence, in the labor, is indispensable. Then, as prices of manufactures decline, the rate of wages advances. Cheapness of commodities thus brought about is allied with the progress of civilization; but the cheapness caused temporarily in an importing country by foreign free trade both victimizes and debases the people whom it promises to bless.

III.105.14

—8. Poverty and weakness of a purely agricultural country. Supposing nearly the whole body of our population occupied in cultivating the soil to obtain a livelihood, a home market for any considerable share of the surplus of the crops would be a simple impossibility. The grower of cotton, of tobacco, of rice, of wheat, of corn, of hemp, or of flax, has neither need nor desire to purchase a like product; he is always and everywhere a seller, not a buyer, of the commodity. If his surplus can not find sale in his own neighborhood, it must be sent to a distant place for that purpose; and if customers or consumers can not be found nearer than Liverpool, his crops must cross the ocean in search of a market, involving the greatest amount and distance of transportation, and the largest demand for the always expensive services of the middleman, with the least profit to the producer. Thus dependent upon very far-off markets, the agriculturist must conform his crops to the arbitrary and inexorable requirements of those markets. He is forced to raise only such things as can with certainty be sold regularly there; and he must do so without knowing beforehand whether large or small quantities of his produce will be needed for export, or whether the prices he will receive after harvest will be high or low. Uncertainty, instability and risk, in an extraordinary degree, must be the inseparable companions of his toil, and the constant perils of its reward. An agriculture so situated and conducted, being necessarily devoid of rotation of crops, leads to exhaustion of the soil, and to the appropriation of other land, in its turn to be exhausted. As the farmer advances in this butchery and spoliation of the earth's surface, he leaves behind him an impoverished region, incapable of sustaining a population. Such a plunder of the fertilizing and vegetative elements of the ground unavoidably tends to poverty; hence agricultural nations, with scarcely any manufacturing industry, are always poor nations. Ireland's present condition offers a fair illustration of the invariable result. A like doom would await the United States under foreign free trade, or under even "a tariff for revenue only", if either should be continued to the bitter end. The effects upon mining, transportation, inventive genius, architecture, education, literature, and the power of combination and association, would all be equally repressive and disastrous. There would be enormous and frightful losses, for which no possible cheapness of the money prices of commodities could compensate our people. Further, a poor nation is necessarily a weak nation. What if war should come upon us after we had reached our impoverished condition as an agricultural country? We might be unable to maintain the national independence of the United States against a war of invasion. Under just such a policy, Turkey has been slowly crumbling away before continual encroachment, until she is upon the perilous edge of a final catastrophe which will blot her name from the list of self-governed states. History abounds with similar warnings, which nothing except the blind confidence of ignorance or the audacious insanity of folly would refuse to heed. All the voices of experience combine to teach that the only path of safety, and the only road to prosperity, lies through protection to home labor by means of defensive duties on imports.

III.105.15

—9. Effect of separating producer from consumer. When farmer and miller are within easy reach of each other, they divide between them, on some equitable plan, all the flour made; but when a considerable distance is interposed between the two, a third party, the transporter, must be employed, who takes a share of the grain, or the money price of that share, to compensate him for his services in conveying the grain to the miller; and again, a share of the flour, or the equivalent of that share, to pay him for his time and trouble in carrying the flour to the farmer, leaving less to be divided between the man who grows the grain and the man who converts it into flour. Ultimately, however, the miller might grind the transporter's share of the grain, taking therefrom his customary toll, and thus might secure for himself the same proportion of the whole quantity as if the transporter had not intervened; but the farmer must, in any event, suffer a positive and permanent loss. It is true, the farmer makes a gain by obtaining the conversion of his grain into flour; but between his gain and that of the miller and the transporter, theirs not being complicated with a sacrifice, there is a large inequality of profitable result. Let this inequality be extended to a great variety and number of the farmer's exchanges, covering the most of his purchases, then his impoverishment would be merely a question of time, or else his power of accumulation would be so seriously crippled as to prevent any considerable or rapid improvement of his condition. Extending this idea, let us suppose A, a country in the western hemisphere, and Z, a country in the eastern hemisphere; and that A exchanges its raw products of the soil for Z's finished products of the loom, the forge and the workshop. This would be the exchange of commodities which free traders declare to be commerce. It clearly belongs to the kind, however, which would call largely for the services of the transporter and his allied middlemen. It would require the investment of a vast amount of capital in steamships, sailing vessels, railroads, canals, and other machinery of the carrying trade. A and Z would severally have to pay the cost of conveying their commodities to the distant market. Much the heavier part of this expense would fall upon producers in A. Their raw products of the soil being bulky, these would necessarily occupy large space in the holds of the ships, and being of small money value proportioned to their size, it would require a considerable percentage of that value to liquidate the freight charges. On the contrary, much the lighter part of the expense would fall upon producers in Z, whose finished products of mechanical labor would fill small space relatively, and being of large money value in little compass, only a trifling percentage of such value would be needed to pay for transportation. A cargo of wheat exported from A to Z would involve payments of pretty much the same amount of freight charge as a cargo of cloth exported from Z to A; yet the cargo of cloth would purchase many cargoes of wheat. Producers in A would have to give so considerable a part of the money value of their products to the transporter, to compensate him for taking them to market, as to leave very scanty margin for a profitable return; and the more inland the producers were, the greater would they be sufferers in this respect; for, in addition to the cost of ocean carriage, they would have that of getting their products to the seaboard. Moreover, this mode of commerce would embody the folly of taking food and the crude materials of manufacture, in unending series, immense distances to supply the wants of the loom, the forge and the workshop, instead of bringing the loom, the forge and the workshop, once for all, where they could reproductively consume the food and the crude materials of manufacture, thus saving forever all the expenses of a double transportation. Still further, under such a system of exchanges, the inhabitants of A would be compelled to devote themselves to the growth of such staples as the inhabitants of Z would purchase, thereby enforcing a uniformity of crops, and depriving the people of the power to make exchanges among themselves, except to a very limited extent. This condition would also involve a dispersion of population, accompanied with feeble capacity for combined effort in the construction of roads and the building of bridges, and in providing other means to diminish the burdensome tax of transportation. A large increase of the export of the raw products of the soil from A might indicate, therefore, not an increase of individual and national prosperity, but a diminished ability to exchange commodities at home, causing an expansion of the foreign at the expense of the domestic commerce. It thus appears that there may be an exchange of commodities between different countries in which all the real gain is on one side and all the actual loss on the other; or, in other words, wherein all the aggrandizing tendencies combine with Z, and all the depreciating tendencies assault A.

III.105.16

—10. Effect of bringing producer and consumer together. Middlemen, whether carrier, broker, agent, or trader, add nothing to either quantity or quality of commodities passing through their hands; yet the pay for their services, including their accumulation of wealth as well as their maintenance, must come out of producers or consumers. Wool will make as much cloth in the Unites States as in England. If, however, the wool is taken to England to be converted into cloth, and the cloth is brought back to be converted into clothing, then all the intermediaries required to make the changes in place will obtain a portion of the values created, and all the other parties involved will receive less by the amount thus deducted. When the manufacturer is transferred to the side of the wool grower, these intervening charges, expenses, losses, are thrust out and entirely saved. The exchanges become direct, with the minimum of friction, risk, delay and obstacle. Transactions are between principals, not through agents. No organized waste of time separates the moment of completed production from the moment of commenced consumption, resulting in a sluggishness of societary movement. As exchanges between parties distant from each other are always fewer than between parties near together, and as frequency and rapidity of exchanges are far preferable to their rarity and tardiness, commerce is rendered capable of conferring its utmost benefits. Protection's task is to place producer and consumer side by side, making them such correlatives in human industry as they are in nature's operations. The rock collects the elements of change from the surrounding affinities, not from the far-off ledge or particles. The plant draws its sustenance from the soil in which it is rooted, and from the neighboring air, sunshine and showers, not from the remote field, and from the distant atmosphere, light and rain. The cow, endowed with the power of locomotion, browses in the vicinity of her home, not in the valleys or upon the plains a score of miles away. Such is the mode of procedure in all nature, animate or inanimate, below man. He alone has ever voluntarily pursued a different course; he alone by distance has separated production from consumption, thereby establishing impediments between the two, and injuriously affecting his own welfare. Considering that iron, copper, lead, coal, limestone, marble, manganese, porcelain clay, salt, and many other minerals, are profusely imbedded in our soil, and that these substances are essential to the development of the human race, by what legerdemain of logic is it to be shown that this close proximity of supply to demand is not an indication, almost imperatorial in its emphasis, that demand should seek its supply on the spot? It will hardly be maintained that the boundless presence of these resources has been a matter of pure chance rather than of deliberate design. If by design, then what can be the meaning of that design, unless it be that man, obeying the divine mandate to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it," should find the means of satisfying his needs wherever he might settle? Protection runs parallel with this broad purpose, in a double sense; for it not only incites our people to utilize the resources which impregnate their own soil, but erects a barrier against those who would entice our people to neglect the resources under their own feet, in order to develop and use the resources which lie under the feet of other men, in other and distant countries.

III.105.17

—11. Competition increased by protection. Adequately defensive duties on imports, while minimizing the destructive manifestations of foreign rivalry, secure the maximum amount of wholesome competition; for, if the tariff be too much reduced, foreign competition, flooding in according to its own pleasure, will prostrate and ruin the native establishments, whereupon all the competition left will consist of that between foreigners for possession of our market; but, if the tariff barrier be raised to the protective point, domestic industry will revive, and competition will be increased by that between our home producers, and by that between our home producers and the foreign producers, thus insuring a threefold competition, moving in legitimate channels, and acting with a maximum of combined force to reduce prices to consumers. Protections, therefore, does not foster (as is alleged) but antagonizes monopoly.

III.105.18

—12. Protection to either foreigner or native is unavoidable. To abolish protection to home industry, would be to take sides, in the most positive and damaging manner, with foreign capital against domestic labor. The inevitable operation of the repeal would be to give the fullest practicable force and effect to the advantages which foreign manufacturers possess over our own, by removing the barrier which stands between our producers and the destructive competition of alien producers. Foreign interests and native interests are set before congress as objects of choice, and congress is asked to choose the former in preference to the latter: the benefit and welfare of other countries rather than the benefit and welfare of this country. What can a scheme be, which takes away from domestic producers, to whom it naturally belongs, the possession of the home market, in order to bestow it as a free gift upon foreign producers, except a scheme which withdraws protection from a class at home to confer it upon a class abroad? To repeal the laws which punish crime, is to protect criminals; and to legislate out of existence the protection which guards and sustains American industry, is to transfer the protection to European industry. A tariff too low for home protection thus becomes a law to protect transatlantic manufacturers against the rivalry of our manufacturers in the latter's domestic market. The issue between the protectionists and the free traders, when reduced to its seminal principle, dwindles to simply this, whether we shall protect our own labor and capital or those of other nations. Doing the latter may be symbolized as dismantling our forts, leveling our breastworks, and disarming our troops, in the face of an invading enemy, leaving him at his leisure to reap all the fruits of unopposed conquest. The pretense that the government is to be, or can be, indifferent in the struggle for the mastery between our own arts and industry and the antagonist arts and industry of other lands, is as preposterous as to pretend that the government is to be indifferent in the case of hostilities between this and any foreign power. No revenue law was ever yet enacted, in any country, which did not, in some way, directly or remotely, affect the rights and interests of labor for better or for worse. There is no neutral ground upon which legislation can stand in respect to material development; the inevitable influence of statutory provisions, especially of those regarding taxation, must be, as common sense and all experience teach, to make or mar, to help or harm, to reinforce or antagonize, industry. Insomuch as the productive elements of society find careful and increasing protection in the general course of legislation, national, state and municipal, what just reason exists why any person should advocate the idea of leaving those fundamental elements of prosperity to take care of themselves when the government comes to levy duties on imports? Why should they be left out of favorable consideration at that exact point, and nowhere else? What is there about the arts of reproduction which should make them an exception to the general rule of protection? Some imports are advantageous; some are not, as immoral books or licentious pictures. To discourage the mischievous class of articles, and to promote the beneficial class, is to discriminate between different kinds of trade, that is, different kinds of production. This regard to the public welfare is, as it would be, the ruling motive of our tariff system.—13 The national constitution expressly authorizes protection. Andrew Jackson said, in his second message to congress, Dec. 7, 1830: "The power to impose duties on imports originally belonged to the several states. The right to adjust those duties with a view to the encouragement of domestic branches of industry is so completely identical with that power, that it is difficult to suppose the existence of the one without the other. The states have delegated their whole authority over imports to the general government, without limitation or restriction, saving the very inconsiderable reservation relating to their inspection laws. This authority having thus entirely passed from the states, the right to exercise it for the purpose of protection does not exist in them; and consequently, if it be not possessed by the general government, it must be extinct. Our political system would thus present the anomaly of a people stripped of the right to foster their own industry, and to counteract the most selfish and destructive policy which might be adopted by foreign nations. This surely can not be the case: this indispensable power, thus surrendered by the states, must be within the scope of the authority on the subject expressly delegated to congress. In this conclusion I am confirmed as well by the opinions of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, who have each repeatedly recommended the exercise of this right under the constitution, as by the uniform practice of congress, the continued acquiescence of the states, and the general understanding of the people." The constitution specifies that "the congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States"; "to regulate commerce with foreign nations"; and "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof." These clauses vest in congress almost unlimited power of taxation. As regards imports, save the exception involving state inspection laws, and , besides, the requirement of uniformity in duties, the senate and house possess the same supreme authority over the whole subject as was possessed by the several states before it was surrendered by them into the exclusive hands of the general government. When they parted with their undoubted and unquestionable right, each for itself, and lodged it in the national constitution, they endowed the new organism with all powers and functions in the premises which they could themselves have exercised individually. Had the transfer to congress, by the states, of control over the subject been of a modified or restricted character, the evidences of such a fact assuredly would have appeared in conclusive form in the articles of union. The words in which the qualified authority was delegated would have been specific and positive, and the limits of its extent would have been defined with rigid exactness, leaving no room for ambiguity or misapprehension. The very absence of confinement within bounds justifies the logical sequence that none was intended; for certainly a restraint so important would not have been left to implication or construction. Evidence to the same effect is to be found in the debates on the constitution, which took place in the several state conventions called to ratify or reject the proposed change of government, for there the belief was generally entertained that the grant of power over national taxation was peremptory and supreme. Indeed, the surrender by the states appeared to some minds so excessive and impolitic that they presented it as a serious argument against ratification. All were deeply anxious for a system which would avoid the inefficacy of a mere confederacy, such as they already had, but they felt a dread of passing into the opposite extreme of a monarchical consolidation. Those conflicting wishes and fears led to protracted, intense, exhaustive scrutiny of reasons for and against every important suggestion of change. Never before were political institutions adopted with so much deliberative assent, with such thorough adjustment in the relations of the various parts, or with so complete an understanding of the nature of the work. Reciprocal protection against contingencies of foreign interference and encroachment was the foundation of the new governmental structure, and it would be grossly illogical to suppose that the protection of domestic industry, so intimately connected with the prosperity of the state, was purposely, negligently or ignorantly excluded from the plan. Congress, therefore, having entire control over duties on imports, and this control being coupled with the power and obligation of providing for the common defense and general welfare, without any reference whatever to a revenue standard, the conclusion is irresistible that both those who framed and those who ordained the constitution granted in it full authority to legislate for the protection of native industry by creating tariff barriers. The phrases "to regulate commerce" and "regulation of commerce," which occur in that instrument, were not accidentally chosen, or used in any vague, loose or indefinite acceptation, but had been constant formulas of expression in the long controversy between the colonies and the mother country, from the time of the stamp act onward, and had acquired, by repeated discussion, and by legal and parliamentary usage, a fixed and precise meaning. Our revolutionary forefathers, people and statesmen alike, also Englishmen, regarded these phrases as synonymous with what we now term protection. When, consequently, in 1787, the federal convention selected these phrases to express the power over commerce granted to the new government, in what other than this familiar and customary sense could such modes of speech have been employed? James Madison, Daniel Webster, Rufus Choate, and others of our great men, have declared, in the most deliberate, specific, positive manner, that the language in the constitution was intended to convey the very authority in question; an authority to be exercised, not held in abeyance. So, too, was the grant interpreted by the first congress, which contained fourteen of those who had been members of the federal convention, its president, George Washington, having been elected chief magistrate of the United States, and another delegate, Alexander Hamilton, appointed secretary of the treasury. It is not logically supposable that these patriots were either ignorant of the design of their own work, or capable of a plain, palpable, direct infraction of the organic law; yet the one or the other horn of this dilemma must be occupied by those who deny the constitutional power and obligation of protection; for the first tariff act, approved July 4, 1789, declared, in so many words, that one of its purposes, one of its objects, one of its inducing motives, was "the encouragement and protection of manufactures." Next year, when still higher duties were imposed, the same avowal was renewed. The only legitimate conclusion from all these circumstances is, that power to protect home industry was put in the constitution in pursuance of a set design to put it there. Before the Union was formed, the people demanded the insertion of that power; the people expected to find that power in the instrument; the convention conferred that power in words familiar to the people from childhood as expressing that power; the people adopted the constitution believing that power was in it; and the very first congress, at its first session, in its first act of general legislation, proceeded to exercise that power in express terms, with avowed intent to give it practical shape. These are historical facts, which it would be folly to dispute: hence the only sort of a tariff on imports which conforms to both the letter and the spirit of the fundamental law is a protective tariff.

III.105.19

—SOME PRACTICAL RESULTS. The general result of the protective system is to develop and cheapen production until its superabundance flushes over into the channels of foreign commerce. To accomplish this outcome the protection must be adequate, stable, prolonged. Alternate changes from this system to its opposite, as has been the case in the history of the United States, arrest the movement, more or less, according as the abandonment of the defensive principle is partial or complete. Only a very few articles have been both fully and steadily protected. In those instances the tendency to ultimate exportation has been most operative and conspicuous. The universal law which governs exports is that nothing, except coin and bullion, or bonds and stocks, tends to go abroad until there is a surplus of domestic production above domestic consumption. There is no incentive to export any commodity whatever until the home demand is satisfied, and an excess remains to seek a foreign market. Hard times may diminish the home demand; still nothing will be exported save what would surfeit that demand, be it languid or active. Brazil exports coffee, and China exports tea, because each country has more than enough of its special product for the satisfaction of its own wants. For this reason Great Britain exports iron and steel, cottons, woolens, linens, tin plate, and other manufactures. For this reason France exports silks, wines and beet sugar; the United States, breadstuffs, provisions, raw cotton and tobacco; Australia, wool; Cuba, can sugar; and so on to the end of the list. It is plain, therefore, that we can arrive at the point of exportation only by so developing the home production that there shall be something in excess of the domestic supply. Without protection, either natural, as in the case of newspapers, or artificial, as in the mass of cases, such an expansion of productive capacity can not take place. This is the teaching of experience no less than of theory, from 1840 to 1864 we did not export a dollar's worth of our own woolen manufactures. The beginning of export has been reached under our system of protective duties. This initiatory export, with its increase, clearly evidences a highly developed woolen industry, and growing surplus above our own wants of the grade and kind of fabrics exported. Under a steadily fostering tariff, a gradual yet accelerated progress is originated, by which establishments multiply, production enlarges, rivalry intensifies, prices diminish, superfluity arises, exportation commences. Such legislation is essential, therefore, to create that fullness of home supply which must always precede any tendency to seek a foreign outlet.

III.105.20

The cotton crop of the United States tariff-protected into existence and export. In 1789, when congress first imposed duties on imports, all the cotton manufactured in the American mills came from other countries, principally from the West Indies. Only an insignificant quantity of the staple, locally consumed in the household industry of those days, was grown in the south; so little, indeed, that one of the representatives in congress from South Carolina declared that the production of cotton was contemplated in his state and in Georgia, and. "if good seed could be procured," he hoped it might succeed. Edward Everett, in a public address delivered in October, 1831, said: "In 1794, when Mr Jay negotiated the treaty with Great Britain, it does not seem to have been known to that distinguished statesman that cotton was raised for exportation in the United States; and he accordingly admitted it among the articles no to be exported from the United States in American bottoms. Even as late as 1796, I find in the journals of congress, that a petition from the proprietors of a cotton mill on the Brandywine, who prayed for the repeal of the duty on the raw material, and the increase of that on cotton goods, was rejected by the committee of commerce and manufactures, on the grounds that the existing duty afforded sufficient protection, and that 'to repeal the duty on raw cotton imported would be to damp the growth of cotton in our own country.'" Hence, the duty of three cents per pound inn the first tariff act was laid, no so much to encourage and protect, as to create the existence of the staple in this country as a regular and an important crop. That duty (except during the war of 1812 and a while afterward, when all the permanent duties were doubled) was continued unchanged from July 31, 1789, to Dec. 1, 1846, or a consecutive period of fifty-seven and one-third years, whereupon it was abolished as having ceased to have either protective or revenue force. In the fiscal year 1848, the first complete one after the removal of the duty, we exported, according to the commerce and navigation report of the United Stated for that year, 7,724,148 pounds of sea-island, and 806,550,283 pounds of other raw cotton, together valued at $61,998,294; and imported 317,742 pounds, valued at $6,814, of which we re-exported 51,001 pounds, valued at $4,727. Since then we have enormously increased the crop, and annually have found a foreign market for all we could spare. In this case, protection, steadily and amply applied, accomplished far more than was hoped for at first, and was instrumental in creating, developing, and establishing an agricultural industry of wonderful and most wide-reaching importance.

III.105.21

Axes protected to exportation. The manufacture of axes and other edge tools was commenced at Hartford, Conn., in 1826, by the brothers Collins, who were the first to supply the markets of this country with cast steel axes, ready ground for use. Until then such implements had always been imported. By the tariff of 1828 a protective duty of 35 per cent. was levied upon imported axes. Under this protection the Collins company introduced labor-saving machinery, much of which was invented, patented and constructed by themselves. Ultimately their axes altogether superseded the foreign article, on account of superior quality and greater cheapness. In 1836 foreign and home-made axes were selling side by side, in the American market, at $15 to $16 per dozen, at which time foreign producers, finding they could make no money at those rates, and that our establishments could not be broken down, withdrew from the competition, abandoning the entire market to our own manufacturers. Then, other domestic makers having meanwhile entered the field, home rivalry and improved methods continued the decline of prices. Axes were selling, in 1838, at $13 to $15.25 per dozen; in 1839, at the same; in 1840, at $13 to $14; in 1841, at $12 to $14; in 1842, at $11 to $14; in 1843, at $11 to $12; in 1844, at $11 to $11.50; in 1845, at $10.50 to $11; in 1846, at $10 to $11; in ;1847, at $9.50 to $10.50; in 1848, at $8 to $10; and in 1849, at $8 to $10. These quotations are copied from the finance report of the United States for 1849, and they show a constant decline of prices, even after the pressure of foreign competition had been entirely withdrawn. Now, we are exporters of axes, and are wresting from the English one market after another. Said the "Sheffield (Eng.) Telegraph," as far back as 1874: "The steel of an American axe is so superior to that of an imported axe that no pioneer who understands his business will ever carry any other with him into the wilds." Similar testimony might be given by the page. A recent letter from an Australian to an English house, published for the information of the trade, says, "It is perfectly useless to try to oust American axes from the market, unless the competing article is at least as good in all points of view, and lower in price as well." The same letter further says, "The Anglo-American axes are invoiced at 54s. per dozen, while the best American (the 'Hartford') are put on board at 48s. 9d. for the same average weights. Furthermore, the casing on English axes costs 4s. to 5s. per dozen: on the American, nil. It is, therefore, plain that the trade must go to America, unless a very large reduction in the price of the English goods can be made." Thus has long-continued protection placed American axes at the head for quality of material, style of finish, and cheapness of price, with surplus at home and growing exportation. Similar illustrations may be drawn from locks, scissors, watches, fire arms, shovels, hay forks, agricultural machinery, tools, saws, and many other articles. The necessary corollary is, that protection, adequate in extent and sufficiently prolonged, will lead to equal results as regards the great mass of our manufactures.

III.105.22

—MOST FREQUENT OBJECTIONS ANSWERED. 1. The import duty is added to the price of the home-made article. This is the corner-stone of the argument against protection. On it is built the charge, as variously formulated, that prices are enhanced to consumers for the benefit of the domestic manufactures; that taxes are levied to serve as bounties paid to privilege; that the many are plundered to enrich the few; that the tariff is a scheme of spoliation. Really, however, there is no greater falsity than the dogma, that, whenever a duty is imposed, the amount of duty is added to the price, not only of the foreign article imported, but also of the similar article manufactured in this country; the fact being that the tariff barrier merely shields and permits the natural price, which varies in different countries, according to the variation of its component elements, just as the natural price of wheat in the United States is made up of cheaper components than the price of wheat in England; and just as the natural price of pig iron in England is made up of cheaper components than the price of pig iron in the United States. Our wheat can undersell English wheat: hence the ruinous effect of our free competition upon English agriculture. On the other hand, English pig iron can undersell our pig iron: hence the ruinous effect of her competition, when not restrained, upon our manufacture. The only way to guard the natural price from destructive encroachment from abroad, is to erect the tariff barrier, behind which healthy competition, skill and invention will co-operate to bring down the articles to the lowest point at which a profit can be made. This is the universal law of domestic prices under a system of protective duties. It explains all the phenomena about which there is so much dispute. For instance, would a duty of $100 per ton on imported pig iron increase the price of domestic pig iron by that sum? Is there anybody so rash as to insist that there would be such an enhancement? If not, for what reason not, if the duty is always added to the price of the home-made article? This is one of the predicaments into which the free-trade dogma forces its votaries; but the law of prices above stated does not encounter any difficulty whatever. The explanation under that law would be, that the duty of $100 per ton would shield and permit the natural price of pig iron in this country, and such price would rise no higher even though the duty should be increased to $200, to $500 or to $1,000, or be reduced to $10. But if the duty should be cut down to $3, $2 or $1 per ton, or to any other sum too small to shield and permit the natural price, the home price would fall; and if the competing foreign price should be low enough to compel an abatement of all the profit contained in the natural price of the native article, or to cut below productive cost, then the effect would be to stop the domestic manufacture, and hand the market enjoyed by it over into the hands of the foreigners, or else the chief component of productive cost, which is wages, would have to be so reduced as to give some remuneration to capital. When a tariff duty does not, or could not, exert any influence whatever in sheltering and allowing the natural price, as in the cases of raw cotton, ice and newspapers, its imposition is a work of supererogation; but we can not have healthy and prosperous industries at home unless the natural prices of their products are adequately protected against those aggressions from abroad which possess overmastering power. Persons who denounce tariff protection are therefore compelled to take the untenable position that they are unwilling to permit the existence of natural prices for American products; or, to state the case in another form, are opposed to the continuance of all domestic industries which can be undersold in our market by foreign competition. To go before the people on that basis of appeal for their votes, is very different from going before them to get their support of the proposition, that consumers are taxed by the amount of the duties added to the home prices for the enrichment of our manufactures. Nor is this the whole of the predicament. If the duty is added to the price of the home-made article, then the conclusion is inevitable that the repeal or the decrease of the duty will reduce the home price by the amount of the duty removed; hence, when in the summer of 1879, the American mills were selling steel rails at $40 per ton, the repeal of the duty of $28 per ton would have brought the home price down to $12 per ton, although the English mills could not then sell equal rails at less than $22 per ton in the English market, and although $12 would not have nearly paid for the raw materials of manufacture, to say nothing of wages. What value, theoretic or practical, can belong to a dogma which involves absurdity like this as an unavoidable corollary? Nor is this all. Many articles of home production, which are dutied in our tariff, are bought by our consumers as cheap as, or cheaper than, the equivalent articles can be bought in foreign countries. How it is possible, in those cases, to add the duty to the home price? Jaconet sells (May, 1882) wholesale for 6½ cents a yard, and can not be had for less in Manchester. Abroad the price of cod-liver oil is $1.30 a gallon, the duty is 40 per cent., and the price here is 80 cents a gallon. A long list of such instances might be presented, all flatly contradicting the free trade dogma about the incidence of duties on imports. A theory which allows for no exceptions, yet encounters a multitude of them, must be a huge fallacy. Finally, if the import duties are added to the prices of the home-made articles, and thus, as is alleged, organize robbery by law, how is a revenue tariff without protection to be defended on principle? Such a tariff must levy duties, and these, according to the theory, must constitute robbery to that extent. This must be the position occupied by those who espouse the dogma about prices, unless the extreme view be adopted of excluding from the tariff charge everything, of whatsoever kind, produced in the United States. But then the revenue raised would be wholly inadequate to the needs of the government. Here, consequently, is a very puzzling dilemma, one born of which is robbery, and the other horn a deficit.

III.105.23

—2. Free speech, free press, free soil, free men! why not free trade? Because what has come to be styled in the discussions of the day, and in the demands of the antiprotectionists, as "free trade," is the instrument, not of freedom, but of slavery. The adjective "free" does not necessarily dignify, improve, ennoble, purify or sanction anything to which it is applied. Good men and women reprobate the use of liquor in treating on election days, as a vicious and corrupting device to influence voters; yet the intoxicant so used is styled "free liquor." We may, therefore, repeat the formula, with the following variation: Free speech, free press, free soil, free men! why not free liquor? The answer, as before, is because it is the instrument of slavery, not of freedom. Again: Indiscriminate love, or the love of one man for many women, and of many women for one man, would debauch society; yet this sort of love is advocated by a class of persons who call it "free love." Once more the formula may be varied, thus: Free speech, free press, free soil, free men! why not free love? Because it is the instrument, not of freedom, but of slavery. Trade is not made really free by chaining it to the epithet free. Free trade no more emblemizes or establishes freedom than a pure fraud emblemizes or establishes purity. Free men under free trade between nations are put in bondage, losing their freedom by becoming the slaves of trade. If trade is made literally free by coupling the two words, why is there so much talk in England about "onesided free trade" and "fair free trade"? Whatever is truly and properly free can not be onesided, and must be fair; yet these descriptives are employed to designate that very system of free trade which we are asked to copy, and which we are told is so beneficial in itself that England can not afford to surrender it, even although it should be rejected by all other countries. It is a very unsound use of logic to base an argument in favor of an economic policy upon the ambiguity of a word in its different connections. The formula given is only one of those carelessly phrased propositions; one of those fallacies and non-sequiturs, which are continually passed off upon the unthinking as first-class truths; one of those adroit, pungent, sparkling sophisms, making war for the wrong in the name of the right, which are apt to dangerously impress such superficial minds as are unaccustomed to independent thought.

III.105.24

—3. Every man has a natural right and should be free to spend his own money in his own choice of a market. Every right has its duty, and the two limit each other. Thus, everybody has a right to love, but that right is restricted by lows, both human and divine. No man has a right to love his neighbor's wife; there duty interposes an impediment, while law erects a barrier and provides a punishment. A man has a right to marry, but not to marry more than one woman, at least in any civilized country. His marrying right is a right with fixed boundaries or restraints, which he can not transgress without doing an injury to society, and subjecting himself to just penalties. A man has a right to choose his religion, but his right is limited by the proviso that his religion shall not be such as to require an invasion of the rights of others, as, for instance, Mormonism, which exists in its polygamous form in defiant violation of law, and needs to be remorselessly crushed out for the good of the community in general. It is the same in regard to spending one's own money. The right to spend is not an absolute right; like other rights it is hedged in by duties or obligations, which measure, determine and restrict its exercise. No one, for illustration, has a right to spend his money in getting somebody else drunk, with a design to unsettle the latter's judgment so as to take advantage of him in sharp bargain-making, or to trick him out of his signature or out of his vote. It is not right to spend one's money in building a dam across a stream, by which water will be backed up over other people's land without their consent. It is wrong to spend one's money in any way which encroaches upon the rights of others. Even the right to life has its limitations. He who commits murder forfeits his right to life. The right to happiness is bounded by the duty of conduct consonant with the attainment of happiness. There are no rights without corresponding obligations; and any argument which treats of the rights as absolute, that is, set free from obligation, is obliged to lead to fallacious conclusions, as in the case of the proposition that every man has a natural right and should be free to spend his own money in his own choice of a market.

III.105.25

—Rights are of two sorts: natural and conventional. To breathe, to eat, to live, are natural rights. To spend one's money, and the general acts of buying and selling, with the great mass of what are called rights, are conventional, fixed either by statute or constitution, or by custom, which is only another name for the common or unwritten law. Money itself is a conventional creation for the benefit of society by overmastering the intricate difficulties, embarrassing delays and sluggish movements of pure barter—the condition before money was agreed upon as a medium for effecting exchanges. A conventional right is necessarily subject to the regulating terms of the convention or general agreement, whether by law or custom, which created it a right. What is a conventional right in one country may be a conventional wrong in another. In some places a man may spend his money in ways or on objects prohibited in other places. A man may lawfully spend his money in Louisiana for a lottery ticket, but to spend his money in that way in Illinois is to violate a legal provision. It is a false assumption that the right to spend one's money is a natural, not a conventional, right—is a right like that to breathe, to walk, to think, or to live. It is nothing of the kind, but wholly conventional. Whenever a man enters a community, and becomes one of its integral units, he must submit himself to the conventional rights which he finds in operation there. He can not set up his individual judgment, however wise and superior he may consider himself, as the determiner of his measure of acquiescence in those rights; he must submit until he can bring over enough of the other judgments to his style of thinking to precipitate the desired change in the conventional rights.

III.105.26

—The argument for a protective tariff rests upon the experience that the spending of one's own money for foreign goods, when it dooms laborers at home to idleness, and leaves our own good raw materials, unused, and our own natural resources to remain undeveloped, is detrimental to the mass of the people. No one has a right to spend his money in such a way as to injure the community in which he lives. Every time this country has had a tariff which encouraged the importation of manufactures from other countries, the result has been disastrous to our domestic industry. Wages have gone down, many thousands of men have been thrown out of employment, and the activities of production have been reduced to slaggishness and embarrassment. Exactly the contrary have been the circumstances under every tariff enacted with the effect of protecting American labor and capital against encroachment from foreign aggression. Are we to be told that men have a natural right to spend their own money in their own choice of a market, despite the fact that such spending may inflict adversity upon the nation, impoverish its resources, deplete its revenue, weaken its political power, impair its credit, and perhaps render it unable to successfully wage a defensive war for the preservation of its existence? The policy of a protective tariff is vindicated by the prosperity, strength, vigor and safety which it confers upon the country.

III.105.27

—4. Protection is the reign of selfishness, and it antagonizes the brotherhood of man. The Bible says: "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." Thus we are taught that the duty to selfhood precedes and outranks the duty to brotherhood. Every man's mind must be itself educated; every man's character must be itself formed; every man's affections must be themselves cultivated, disciplined, purified; every man's condition must be itself raised, before his mind, character, affections and condition can attain to their utmost usefulness to society, not only at large, but especially at home, where the circumstances of daily intercourse multiply his obligations and preferentially employ his duty. Communities are not elevated pecuniarily, mentally, morally, or religiously, by a process which involves the whole mass as a single entity, but through individual action, the advance realized by each integral unit contributing its share to raise the general average, and every retrograde movement of any one of the units detracting from and lowering that average. In every man there must be a large development of internal power before there can be a large development of external power. No more than an individual can a nation exert great strength outwardly until such strength exists inwardly. Every person, every city, every country, every state, every people, must look first to its own welfare, to its own improvement, to its own benefit. This is the great law of universal progress. Whenever it is violated it deranges the conditions of normal advancement. Even Christianity was for the Jew first, then for the Gentile. The gospel was preached to all the world, but the beginning was at Jerusalem. God has wrought the law of selfhood into every fibre of man's constitution, but selfhood and selfishness are distinct, not identical, the latter being the perversion of the former, bearing toward it the same relation that lust bears toward love. It is beyond controversy, because the testimony of all experience in all ages and countries is, that man's individual feelings are stronger than his sympathetic emotions; hence the maxim that "self-preservation is the first law of nature." To breathe is not more natural than to love first and preferentially one's self, one's own wife, one's own children, one's own kindred, one's own country. If this were not so, what would become of self-improvement, of family, and of patriotism? The assertion of selfhood is inseparable from human nature. It is the gift of God, and therefore must be beneficial in its exercise. Only when it is abused does it degenerate into selfishness, as love in its abnormal and debased manifestations becomes lust. Indeed, were man differently constituted—if he felt another's woes more than his own—this world would be turned into a scene of universal confusion and of still greater suffering. Then everybody, actuated by a self-sacrificing desire to took after the welfare, safety and benefit of others, would vastly neglect to look after his own welfare, safety and benefit. The very sentiment which would seek to render assistance would prompt its refusal by the intended recipient; for the unconquerable tendency would be to give, not to receive, and, in receiving rather than conferring, that tendency would be antagonized. Society would thus fall into inextricable disorder. Instead of diminishing misery, such a condition would augment it, until the earth became a rack for the incessant torture of human sensibilities, and extinction of the race ended the scene of wretchedness and anguish. It is the wisdom of God that selfhood should be the guide. That has given the situation as it is, with its capacities and opportunities of progress. The argument against the protective system virtually is, that it does not permit the abnegation of self to be substituted for this selfhood. But the sweeping away of that system—the abolition of custom houses and tariffs—would not get rid of this selfhood. It is not in the power of man to dethrone self, nor is it desirable, even could it be accomplished. Selfhood was bestowed by Infinite Wisdom to be exercised, not frustrated or perverted. Protection offers it a fair field for its functional activity. Home industry outranks foreign industry as home folks outrank strangers. Free trade, instead of fostering and developing selfhood, would degrade and misapply its proper faculties and inclinations, transforming it into aggressive and unrestrained selfishness. Suppose congress should remove all the restrictions on imports, how could that cultivate the spirit of brotherhood? Our manufacturing industries would be partly crippled, partly ruined, partly extinguished. Immense amounts of fixed capital would be irrecoverably sunk. Many ten thousands of our skilled workmen would be thrown out of employment. All this would happen because it has happened aforetime, when import duties have been reduced below the level of protection; much more, then, would it happen if those duties should be removed altogether. Unrestrained foreign competition, remorseless as monopoly, would be let loose upon this country. How could such circumstances induce a wider, deeper, fuller application of the doctrine of the brotherhood of man? Whatever strengthens the appeal to the instinct of self-preservation weakens the incentives to sympathetic action. In a shipwreck the spirit of brotherhood is generally trampled ruthlessly under foot in the wild scramble for individual safety. When, at the cry of fire, panic seizes upon an audience, the spirit of brotherhood vanishes on the instant, and an intense struggle of each for self takes possession of the scene. These examples illustrate the principle. To abolish the tariff, to tear down the custom houses, or to withdraw protection from the import duties, and thus to bring risk, loss, danger, fear, grief, hunger, misery, to the homes of a multitude of our people, would not yield the fruits of brotherhood, but those of selfishness. All the circumstances which centre the emotions upon self would be reinforced at the expense of the sympathetic feelings. As a scheme to promote brotherhood, free trade would be not only idle and nugatory, but in its operative forces the very reverse of what would be intended. Labor at home would be wronged, depressed, victimized; and, as whatever harms labor anywhere tends to harm it everywhere, even European labor would be ultimately harmed by the reflex influence from the harmed condition in this country. It is protection, not free trade, that cultivates and strengthens the brotherhood of man.

III.105.28

—5. Industry will thrive best when it is let alone. This dictum became American free trade doctrine in the days of Robert J. Walker, who said, in his annual report for 1845, as secretary of the treasury: "Let them alone is all that is required of man; let all international exchanges of products move as freely in their orbits as the heavenly bodies in their spheres, and their order and harmony will be as perfect, and their results as beneficial, as in every movement under the laws of nature when undisturbed by the errors and interference of man." This argument from analogy is supremely fallacious, because the assumed analogy is not legitimate, but forced. Human beings can not, even if they would exercise any influence or control whatever over the motions of planets and suns; but God has commanded man to vanquish the forces of nature, so far as these appertain to our own globe; a command found in the words, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it," as addressed to our first parents. From that day to this, interference, persistent interference, with the natural order of things, interference for the purpose of obtaining a complete mastery, has been an imperative law of man's progress to higher and still higher levels of social, political, industrial, moral and even religious excellence. There is no such thing as letting industry alone, without going back to barbarism, to the lowest depths of human degradation, privation and wretchedness. "Strictly speaking," declares Say, "there is no act of government but what has some influence on production." We know of no writer on political economy, entitled to be considered an authority, who disputes Say's proposition. Accordingly, it is quite obvious, that, in regulating duties on imports, and in all other legislation, the industry of the country will necessarily be affected for the better, or for the worse; it will either be promoted and bettered, or be embarrassed and depressed, whether, in making the laws, we take it into consideration, or disregard it wholly. We can not, then, let it alone without ceasing to make or have any laws. We must legislate, and must administer the laws, in respect to industry, and so either promote or depress it, or, by ceasing to have laws, relapse into barbarism, and, by so doing, affect industry in the utmost degree possible, that is, annihilate it. The let-us-along dogma is, therefore, saying in other words, shoot at random without taking aim, and you will be sure to hit the mark, or, refuse medical treatment under all circumstances, and people will be kept in the best of health. The declaimers in favor of letting industry alone, raise their absurd cry in the face of the fact that all the positive and useful knowledge we possess, all the accumulations we have realized from the productive forces, whatever of empire we have achieved over material objects, and the whole of the civilization we enjoy, have resulted from refusing to let things alone: by interfering with their natural order in the most obtrusive manner; by interrupting and turning aside their spontaneous tendencies; by compelling matter to assume new proportions, to take on predetermined relations, and to exercise unaccustomed functions; by forcing the natural agents to become the obedient servants of man; in other words, by subduing the earth, in compliance with the divine command. We dig down into the bowels of the ground, bring coal to the surface, confine it in adaptable receptacles, and compel it to surrender gas, with which we light our cities. The let-alone policy would never do that. Water has a natural tendency to seek a general level, but we refuse to leave it to flow as it will, and pump it up into reservoirs, distribute it through pipes over a wide area, and supply it to the people within their very dwellings. What has the let-alone doctrine to do with such a purpose? For centuries electricity flashed only in the lightning, or illuminated the northern sky with the aurora borealis; but man harnessed this subtle force to ingenious devices of inventive mechanism, and converted it, speeding along lines of telegraph, into the errand boy of commerce. How many years would it take the let-alone plan to accomplish that? We tunnel mountains to provide a passageway for railway trains; we span broad streams with bridges to afford easy and speedy access between the opposite banks: we burrow under rivers to facilitate the movement of people and of vehicles; we lay telegraphic cables across the ocean to secure instant communication between distant continents; we cut a vast canal through the width of an isthmus, thus connecting seas by navigable waters, and obtaining a quick transit for large vessels, by which is effected a saving of months of time and many thousands of miles of transportation; we go up in balloons, and explore the secrets of the upper atmosphere; we send down a cunningly constructed apparatus into the depths of the ocean, map out the altitudes and the depressions of the bottom, and determine the character of its substance; we devise immense telescopes, and lay bare to human vision the mysteries of the heavenly arcana. It is by thus getting the mastery over nature, by literally subduing the earth, not by letting things alone, that the progress of our race has been realized. Our boasts are about our triumphs over obstacles, not about our omissions to do. Every advancing step of this progress has been signalized by an increased persistency of interference. We refuse to let iron ore alone beneath the surface, where it has been placed by nature; we dig it out; we mix it with other materials; we melt the mass down; we produce pig iron. Then we refuse to let it alone in that form; we convert it into bar iron. Still we refuse to let it alone; we turn it into steel. Next, we refuse to let the steel alone; we cast it into cannon; we shape it into tools; we use it to armor-plate ships of war; we transform it into watch springs. One act of interference is only a stepping-stone to another act of interference. In like spirit we refuse to let alone anything which human influence can reach from a speck of dust floating in the air to the morals of a community. Actively and incessantly disturbing the customary courses of nature, we develop the sour crab apple into the mellow, delicious fruit of the cultivated orchard; we marry one sort of plant to another, and produce a new variety; we diversify the external appearance of flowers by artificial applications, and make these changes permanent in aftergrowth; we domesticate certain wild animals, and improve their breed. Each successive generation witnesses a considerable increase in the accumulation and aggregate of these interferences, and each in consequence secures the attainment of a higher level of civilization. How, then, can it be said with truth that industry will thrive most when it is least cared for in the tariff laws? Why should it be abandoned at that exact point, but nowhere else? Industry must be protected in the laws which levy duties on imports, no less than in the other laws, if it is expected to augment, to be diversified and to prosper; for it surely can not expand under a policy of indifference, inaction, impotence and folly, such as is involved in the let-alone doctrine.

III.105.29

—6. Protection has for its essence obstruction, and for its object scarcity. This allegation is flatly contradicted by experience. In the seventy-one and a half years beginning with 1790 and ending June 30, 1861, our net imports aggregated $7,488,263,258; in the twenty years ended June 30, 1881, $9,117,531,264, or over 21¾ per cent, more of value in about 28 per cent. of the time. Our net imports in 1860, after thirteen years and seven months under the revenue tariff system, amounted to $335,233,232, or to $10.66 per capita; but, in 1880, after twenty years and three months under the protective policy, our net imports had increased to $741,501,725, or to $14.78 per capita. The idea of obstruction as the essence of protection is signally refuted by these statistics. In the seventy-one and a half years, our domestic exports aggregated $6,854,339,383; in the twenty years, $11,091,223,908, or $4,236,884,525 more in fifty-one and a half fewer years. Our domestic exports amounted to $373,189,274 in 1860, or to $11.87 per capita; but, in 1880, they had increased to $833,294,246, or to $16.61 per capita; a gain of $4.74 per capita. As, averaging our domestic exports, each head of population had this additional value to send abroad, and as exports always consist of what the people have in surplus after the satisfaction of their own wants, it is an audacious and foolish crossing of swords with the truth to charge that tariff protection in this country has led to scarcity. There is no escape from the proofs offered by these figures. They show, beyond room for doubt, that net imports and domestic exports augmented faster under the protective than under the revenue system, even distributed and measured per capita, the growth of commerce and trade being far more rapid than the growth of population. Are these evidences that the defensive policy restricts either imports or exports so as to tend to scarcity? Rather, do they not contradict such a theory with all the conclusive authority of positive knowledge? Our short mathematical refutation of the absurd dogma of the free traders is complete. With a prodigality of abundance in plain sight every day, and in all directions, almost forcing itself upon recognition, it is effrontery to raise the cry of "scarcity," and to stigmatize a system of legislation which is concurrent with such prodigious realizations as the skeleton in the closet-of the nation; as the curse which sits by their firesides; as the following omen of calamities and still greater "scarcity" to come. The marvel is, that a doctrine so preposterous should have found a lodgment in any intelligent mind.

III.105.30

—BIBLIOGRAPHY. The literature of the subject is very copious, mainly in the form of pamphlets. Far the greater part of both the minor publications and the books has now only stray existence in private collections and in the libraries of public institutions. Among the most valuable works to be occasionally procured at the second-hand book stores are Essays on Political Economy, by M. Carey, Philadelphia, 1822; Propositions Concerning Protection and Free Trade, by Willard Phillips, Boston, 1850; National System of Political Economy, by Frederick List, Philadelphia, 1856. The most important treatises not out of print are as follows: Principles of Social Science, 3 vols., 8vo, The Slave Trade, domestic and Foreign, Harmony of Interests, and Unity of Law, by Henry C. Carey; American Political Economy, by Francis Bowen; A Manual of Political Economy, by E. Peshine Smith; The Tariff Question, by E. B. Bigelow; Essays designed to elucidate the Science of Political Economy, by Horace Greeley; Protection a Boon to Consumers, The Solidarity of the Industries, The Protective Question Abroad, and The Protective Question of Home, by John L. Hayes; Protection to Native Industry, by Sir Edward Sullivan; Sophisms of Free Trade, by Sir John Barnard Byles; Speeches and Letters on Industrial and Financial Questions, by William D. Kelley; Speeches on the Tariff Question and on Internal Improvements, by Andrew Stewart; Questions of the Day, Economic and Social, and Conversations on the Principal Subjects of Political Economy, by Dr. William Elder; Social Science and National Economy, and Political Economy, with Especial Reference to the Industrial History of Nations, by Robert Ellis Thompson; How Western Farmers are Benefited by Protection, by David H. Mason Outlines of an Industrial Science, by David Syme; The Premises of Free Trade Examined, and Reviews of Sundry Free Trade Arguments, by George Basil Dixwell. A very large amount of valuable information is to be found in Alexander Hamilton's celebrated Report on Manufactures, made to congress in 1791, and printed in his collected works; also, in the congressional debates on the tariff from 1789 onward, and in the reports of the house committee on commerce and manufactures, and the committee of ways and means.*58

DAVID H. MASON.


Notes for this chapter


58.
In the above article the argument for protection is given. The principles advocated by the writer of it are at variance with those demonstrated in the article on FREE TRADE, as well as with the body of doctrine contained in the various articles of this work, whether political or politico-economical. It may be thought, that, on this account, the article should have no place here; and something may be said in favor of that view, since the Cyclopædia is a scientific work; and a consensus of political economists may be said to exist as to the truth, and therefore as to the expediency, of the principles of free trade. But, in the present condition of the public mind in the United States, when so many are looking for light, it was thought best not to exclude the argument for protection, which now has a living, and always will have an historical interest. Readers of the Cyclopædia, we presume, open its pages in search for truth. On the question of free trade and protection we have furnished them with an article on both sides. As a further contribution to what is still a matter of controversy with many in this country, we here give a summary of the case between free traders and protectionists from a very recent work by an eminent French economist, Emile de Lavelaye. Says M. de Lavelaye: "Colbert, the celebrated French statesman, once asked a merchant what was the best way to promote trade, and the latter answered: Laissez faire; laissez passer (see LAISSEZ FAIRE) i.e., let it alone. The words were taken by J. V. de Gournay, and afterward became the watchwords of advocates of freedom of commerce, now called free traders.

—What, indeed, can be conceived more natural than to allow every man to buy and to sell where he can buy and sell with greatest advantage to himself, whether in his own country or out of it? We can excuse a state when it imposes an entry duty on certain kinds of goods, to procure a revenue, although such a duty is a bad kind of tax; but to impose duties under pretext of protecting home industries, is a measure both iniquitous and contrary to the general interest.

—By forcing consumers to buy of protected manufacturers dearer than they could buy in a foreign market, the government imposes a tax on consumers in favor of the protected manufacturers, a compulsory buying which has in it all the elements of injustice. In this compulsion and injustice consists the protective system.

—But, say the advocates of protection, protective duties are imposed to favor labor, and consequently to favor the working class.

Error 1. The economic end sought is not to increase but to diminish labor. If I can get a number of yards of linen in a foreign market by one day's labor, it is contrary to that economic end to force me to spend two days' labor in order to acquire it. To force one to increase his labor without increasing the product, is what Bastiat rightly called Sisyphism, since it is to strain humanity in a useless effort, like Sisyphus, who was condemned to roll a rock, which always fell back again, toward the top of a mountain. The economic end to be sought is an increase of wealth and a decrease of effort.

Error 2. It is not rendering a service to workmen to drive them into mammoth factories, by force of law and contrary to nature. Look at Italy at the present moment. What a pity that the tariff there has dragged workingmen and workingwomen from the field and from labor in the open air in that land of beauty, with its mild climate, to harness them twelve or fourteen hours in gloomy factories, while they keep time with the uniform movement of machinery.

—Free trade, by applying to nations the principle of the division of labor (see DIVISION OF LABOR) assures them the benefit of that division, and thus greatly increases their well-being.

—If, in a family, each of its members is employed in doing what he can do best, it is evident that the aggregate product, and, as a consequence, the share of each member of the family, will be the greatest possible. If, on the other hand, each is compelled, by legislative restriction, to devote a part of his time to a kind of work to the doing of which he is not adapted, all and each will be more poorly provided. Let us apply this to nations. If each of them employs its powers in those branches of labor which the nature of the country occupied by it specially favors, it will carry to the market a maximum of products obtained by a minimum of labor; and the consequence will be that the well-being of humanity will be increased in proportion to the increase in the productiveness of the labor of each country. The man who, wishing to be sufficient to himself, should endeavor to manufacture or produce everything he needed, food, shoes, clothes, furniture and books, would clearly be very ill-advised. Would the nation that imitated him be less so? If my land, which is sandy, is better adapted to the growing of rye than of wheat, the least onerous way for me to get wheat is not to cultivate it myself, but to obtain it in exchange from those who have clayey land. This very evident truth shows the absurdity of the protective system, which would compel me, whether or not, to cultivate wheat on sand.

—But, say the partisans of protection, foreign countries will inundate us with their products. Vain fear: foreign countries will not give us their goods for nothing. In payment of theirs, they will want ours. Commerce is always an exchange of products against products. As many products must leave our ports as enter them. It more enter them than leave them, so much the better: for in that case foreign countries pay us a tribute, and we may increase our consumption. If more leave our ports than enter them, so much the worse; for then, it is we who pay the tribute.

—Protectionists want to buy little and sell much, in order that foreign countries may be compelled to pay the excess of their purchases in coin. What a contradiction in these aims! How can the different nations, exchanging with one another, always sell more than they buy? Plainly impossible.

—The principal cause of the progress of industry, is the competition of persons engaged in industry, each of them striving to manufacture better and cheaper articles and thus to monopolize the custom. The more generally the influence of competition is felt, the greater will be the advantage of all. Hence competition should not be restricted within the limits of a state, but extended from country to country.

—Monopoly engenders inertia, and protection routine. On the contrary, the manufacturer who is compelled to perfect all his wares, will conquer the market of the world in his endeavors to keep the national market. What is the effect of a railroad connecting two countries? To facilitate exchanges between them. What is the effect of entry duties on foreign goods? To hamper exchanges. How does it happen that the same men, at the same moment, do two things the effects of which are so completely opposed?

—You spend forty or fifty millions of francs to bore a tunnel through the Alps, and at both ends of that tunnel you, Frenchmen, and you, Italians, station a custom house officer, who, by the taxes he levies, destroys in great part the utility of that marvel of engineering skill. Inexplicable contradiction!

—A consistent protectionist should demand the destruction of machinery; for free trade and machinery have exactly the same effect: they diminish the labor necessary to obtain a given product. Thanks to machinery, the Frenchman can obtain coal at less cost; thanks to foreign countries, he can get it cheaper: the result is identically the same to him.

—Would you, Frenchmen, exclude foreign countries, then break your machinery. In both cases, you would have to put forth a stronger effort to procure the same quantity of coal.

—Capital spontaneously takes the direction of the most lucrative employment. Protection directs it toward a less lucrative employment, causing the difference to be paid by a tax levied on consumers. Production is diminished by so much.

—A last argument is resorted to by the protectionists. For the objects of prime necessity, they say, wheat and iron, for instance, a country can not depend on foreign nations: since in time of war it could neither feed nor defend itself. Answer: There is no instance in which a people in time of war wanted the necessary things. In our days such want is less to be feared than formerly: firstly, because of railroads, which facilitate revictualing; and then because the treaty of Paris of 1854 has provided that neutral ships may continue to transport the goods of the belligerents. Hence the hermetic blockade of a state has become more impossible than ever. Is it wise to inflict an injury permanent and certain on one's self, in order to escape another which is remote and improbable?

—There are some things which free traders have not seen. To suppress labor, and not to increases it: such is the end. Free trade attains this end just as machines do. Hence both are a good.

—But, it will be said, there are men who live by the labor of their hands; and if you suppress them they have nothing left but to disappear. Free trade, like machines, may, therefore, cause a displacement of workmen, for they must leave the place in which the tariff forced sterile labor on them, to go where, with less effort, they will obtain more products. This is what happened in France, when the revolution of 1789 did away with the internal tariffs which separated the old French provinces. Abolish the tariffs which in our day separate the different provinces, and the same fact may be reproduced. The displacement effected, the men will be everywhere better supplied, for their labor will be more productive, but they will perhaps be differently distributed, which will not be done without hardship. The conclusion is: do not cause workmen to come into existence in a place in which nature has not accorded them sufficient remuneration. But when they exist, reform your tariffs with foresight and prudence.

—Much has been said of a system of temporary protection. No one has given a better exposition of this system than a German economist, Frederick List, the initiator of the customs union (zollverein) or Germany, which led to the political union of that country. 'The final end,' he says, 'is universal free trade; but in order that it may bring to each state, and consequently to the human race, the greatest possible good, it is necessary that each people should turn its natural resources to the best advantage. An exclusively agricultural country is necessarily a backward country: instance, Poland in the olden time. Doubtless it is bad that privilege should cause artificial industries to spring up, but there are many industries natural to a country which will not be developed in it, unless they are protected in the beginning. Hence the best way to reach free trade and to derive the greatest profit from it is temporary protection.'

—Such is List's opinion. Adam Smith and J. S. Mill expressed the same opinion. I admit neither the premises nor the conclusion. An agricultural country is not necessarily a backward country. If Poland was formerly a backward country, as List pretends it was, it was because a frivolous aristocracy, employed in amusements, disposed of the net revenue, and did nothing to instruct their serfs or themselves. In no country in the world were intellectual and moral culture, comfort and happiness so general as in New England before protection developed manufactures on a large scale.

—People are in the habit of measuring the industry of a country by the mass of products which its industry produces. Wrongly so. Never did civilization shine more brightly than at Athens, where arts and letters attained the highest point of perfection, but where industry remained in its infancy. Protection is no longer necessary in our day, as in the time of Adam Smith. Discoveries and processes are immediately known everywhere. Capital and the spirit of enterprise and ceaselessly in search of natural wealth to exploit it, wherever it is to be found.

—Temporary protection becomes permanent for the reason that the protected interests enter into a coalition and oppose all reform." Compare preceding article.—ED.

Footnotes for PRUSSIA

End of Notes


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