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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/660

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

states of the same country, should it be regarded as beneficent to the-welfare of a country when every country is only a state in the great federation of humanity we call the world? Do not the elemental principles of existence apply to countries as well as to states? They certainly do. Then whence the argument that a protective tariff between states of the same country is wrong, while between countries even of the same blood and race it is right and proper, and conducive to national prosperity? Is it not plain that the device of a protective tariff between countries is a relic of the old barbarous idea of protection, the idea that people belonging to other communities are enemies, and that we must have as little to do with them as possible, except to fight them if they trespass on our rights or threaten to take trade away from us? It must be so, or men who profess to believe in justice and fraternity and love between all mankind never would be found advocating the detestable and misleading system of organized selfishness built up of burdensome taxes upon the relations that alone can civilize, enlighten, and elevate the whole of humanity and so conduce immeasurably to the welfare of the whole world.

One of the chief arguments of the orators who favor protection is, that under the tariff system the prosperity of this country has been very great, and as usual they cite an endless array of statistics to prove the truth of what they say. But is the assertion reasonable? Can we who govern our ideas by common sense and not by the dictates of short-sighted expediency agree with the orators when they say that our national prosperity is due to protection? Do we not find, when we come to consider the matter, that through our boundless resources and unlimited energy in industrial affairs we have prospered in spite of the protective tariff, not because of it? If the State of Pennsylvania adopted a protective tariff and continued to prosper and heap up wealth within her borders, should we say that it was because of the tariff? No. We should see at once that her prosperity was due to causes superior to the disadvantages of a tariff system—that is, to the extraordinary capacity of her citizens for industrial affairs and the vast stores of material at their command, enabling them to conquer obstacles under which less powerful communities would languish or utterly perish. If a man sets up a bazaar for the sale of any sort of goods, and charges an admission fee to customers, and yet can sell his goods low enough to induce customers to pay the admission fee and enter and make purchases, and if this man amasses a great deal of money from his business, we shall not be likely to say that his riches are due to his system of admission fees. We simply conclude that he must have an extraordinary capacity for getting his goods at a low price; he