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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/508

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

nothing in the system I have described which is at variance with the principles of the American people.

All that is required to make such a system a boon both to the employer and to the laborer is that the officials charged with the inspection of the system and the protection of the immigrants' interests should be intelligent, honest, and fearless in the discharge of their duties.

 

PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION.
By the Late Hon. DAVID A. WELLS.
XX.—THE LAW OF THE DIFFUSION OF TAXES.
PART II.

ATTENTION is next asked to an analysis of the incidence of-taxation, what is mainly direct, on processes and products, and on the machinery by which one is effected and the other distributed, and at the outset the following propositions in the nature of economic axioms are submitted, which it is believed will serve as stepping stones to the attainment of broad generalizations.

Thus, property is solely produced to supply human wants and desires; and taxes form an important part of the cost of all production, distribution, and consumption, and represent the labor performed in guarding and protecting property at the expense of the State, in all the processes of development and transformation. The State is thus an active and important partner in all production. Without its assistance and protection, production would be impeded or wholly arrested. The soldier or policeman guards, while the citizen performs his labor in safety. As a partner in all the forms of production and business, the State must pay its expenses—i. e., its agents, for their services; and its only means of paying are through its receipts from taxation. Taxes, then, are clearly items of expense in all business, the same as rent, fuel, cost of material, light, labor, waste, insurance, clerical service, advertising, expressage, freight, and the like, and on business principles they find their place on the pages of profit and loss; and, like all other expenses which enter into the cost of production, must finally be sustained by those who gratify their wants or desires by consumption. Production is only a means, and consumption is the end, and the consumer must pay in the end all the expenses of production. Every dealer in domestic or imported merchandise keeps on hand, at all times, upon his shelves, a stock of different and accumulated taxes—customs, internal revenue, State, school, and municipal—with his goods; and when we buy and carry