Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on March 12, 2017

in Seen and Unseen, Trade

… is from page 36 of Henry Martyn’s 1701 pamphlet, Considerations Upon the East-India Trade:

Unknown-2It [a policy of protective tariffs and other import restrictions] is to oblige the things to be provided by the Labour of many, which might as well be done by few; ’tis to oblige many to labour to no purpose, to no profit of the Kingdom, nay, to throw away their Labour, which otherwise might be profitable.  ‘Tis to oblige us to provide things for our own Consumption by the labour of many, when that of few wou’d be sufficient.  To provide the conveniences of Life at the dearest and most expensive Rates, to labour for things that might be had without.  ‘Tis all one as to bid us refuse Bread or Cloaths, tho’ the Providence of God or Bounty of our Neighbours wou’d bestow them on us; ’tis all one as to destroy an Engine or a Navigable River, that the work which is done by few may rather be done by many.  Or, all these things may be comprehended in this, to prohibit the consumption of Indian Manufactures, is by Law to establish vain and unprofitable Labour.

DBx: Just so.

I thank Doug Irwin – in his excellent 1996 volume, Against the Tide – for introducing me to Martyn’s pamphlet.


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