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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/12

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the citizens of Chicago do not attempt to raise their wheat in their own "back yards," but send their money into distant parts and buy it; while, on the other hand, the farmers of whom they buy do not attempt to make their own clothing, their furniture, or even their own flour. They buy them at Chicago. They do not think it good economy to expend $100 worth of their own labor for what costs but $10 in Chicago, but wisely prefer to use it in creating what will bring $100 in Chicago. So, too, rising in the scale of comparison, Iowa and Kansas do not "protect" themselves against New York and Massachusetts, nor do they attempt by legal means to "foster industries" which exist in the latter States. The national Constitution, fortunately, forbids such a course; and, as a party, the protectionists have not yet taken it on themselves to say that a "protection" policy would be for the advantage of the granger States as against the manufacturing States. But the moment we come to that imaginary line known as the national boundary, this simple and beneficent process ceases. The farmers of Manitoba would naturally buy their clothing, furniture, tools and machinery, and much of their food, at Minneapolis and St. Paul. The merchants of those cities would like to sell to the Manitobans, but the two Governments prevent it. Only last year the Manitobans had a very good potato-crop, while that of Minnesota was a failure; and, on the other hand, fruit was plenty in Minnesota and scarce in Manitoba. It would have been natural to have sold American fruit in Manitoba, and to have brought back potatoes. But no; protection "protected" the people of Minnesota from potatoes that year, and the Manitobans, as they tried to imagine that their superfluous potatoes were apples and pears, doubtless consoled themselves with the idea that they were growing rich, because no Yankees were selling them fruit and taking their money away.

It is useful to recur to these every-day facts of universal experience in order that we may have the great and complicated question before us in its simplest elements. I think the homely illustrations I have used at the outset will lend certainty and significance to the results of a survey of the effects of protection in the larger and vaguer field of our national life. Let the reader keep in mind the consequences which would ensue if I did not buy my shoes of a neighbor—the poor shoes I would have, and the great labor with which I obtained them. Let him imagine the result of the Chicago people attempting to raise their wheat in their own "back yards," or of the farmers of Iowa refusing to buy any cloths or machinery not produced in their own neighborhood. Let him imagine the poverty and want which would prevail in the frontier States if from the moment of settlement they adopted the policy of prohibiting all these importations from