Protection Or Free Trade
PROTECTION OR FREE TRADE AN EXAMINATION OF THE TARIFF QUESTION, WITH ESPECIAL REGARD TO THE INTERESTS OF LABOR BY HENRY GEORGE Author of The Science of Political Economy, Social Problems 1 Progress and Poverty A Perplexed Philosopher, The Condition of Labor, The Land Question, Property in Land etc. ROBERT SCHALKENBACH FOUNDATION 11 PARK PLACE NEW YORK 1935 TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE ILLUSTRIOUS FRENCHMEN OF A CENTURY AGO QUESNAY, TURGOT, MIRABEAU, CONDORCET, DUPONT AND THEIR FELbOWS WHO IN THE NIGHT OF DESPOTISM FORESAW THE GLORIES OF THE COMING DAY Prove all things hold fast that which is good. 19 PREFACE. Ethis book I have endeavored to determine whether protection or free trade better accords with the inter ests of labor, and to bring to a common conclusion on this subject those who really desire to raise wages. I have not only gone over the ground generally trav ersed, and examined the arguments commonly used, but, carrying the inquiry further than the controversial ists on either side have yet ventured to go, I have sought to discover why protection retains such popular strength in spite of all exposures of its fallacies to trace the con nection between the tariff question and those still more important social questions, now rapidly becoming the burning questions n of our times and to show to what radical measures the principle of free trade logically leads. While pointing out the falsity of the belief that tariffs can protect labor, I have not failed to recognize the facts which give this belief vitality, and, by an exami nation of these facts, have shown, not only how little the working-classes can hope from that mere revenue reform which is miscalled free trade, but how much theyhave to hope from real free trade. By thus har monizing the truths which free traders perceive with the facts that to protectionists make their own theory plau sible, I believe I have opened ground upon which those separated by seemingly irreconcilable differences of opinion may unite for that full application of the free iz PREFACE. trade principle which would secure both the largest production and the fairest distribution of wealth. By thus carrying the inquiry beyond the point where Adam Smith and the writers who have followed him have stopped, I believe I have stripped the vexed tariff question of its greatest difficulties, and have cleared the way for the settlement of a dispute which otherwise might go on interminably. The conclusions thus reached raise the doctrine of free trade from the emas culated form in which it has been taught by the English economists to the fullness in which it was held by the predecessors of Adam Smith, those illustrious French men, with whom originated the motto Laissez faire, and who, whatever may have been the confusions of their terminology or the faults of their method, grasped a central truth which free traders since their time have ignored. My effort, in short, has been to make such a candid and thorough examination of the tariff question, in all its phases, as would aid men to whom the subject is now a perplexing maze to reach clear and firm conclusions. In this I trust I have done something to inspire a movement now faint-hearted with the earnestness and strength of radical conviction, to prevent the division into hostile camps of those whom a common purpose ought to unite, to give to efforts for the emancipation of labor greater definiteness ofpurpose, and to eradicate that belief in the opposition of national interests which leads peoples, even of the same blood and tongue, to regard each other as natural antagonists. To avoid any appearance of culling absurdities, I have, in referring to the protectionist position, quoted mainly from the latest writer who seems to be regarded by American protectionists as an authoritative exponent of their viewsProfessor Thompson of the University of Pennsylvania. CONTENTS. CHAPTER FAG I. INTRODUCTORY 1 n. CLEARING GROUND 11 m. OF METHOD 23 IV...