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Quotation of the Day…

… is from chapter 1 of William Graham Sumner’s 1885 volume, Protectionism: the -ism Which Teaches that Waste Makes Wealth:

There are some who say that “a tariff is not a tax,” or as one of them said before a Congressional Committee: “We do not like to call it so!” That certainly is the most humorous of all the funny things in the tariff controversy. If a tariff is not a tax, what is it? In what category does it belong? No protectionist has ever yet told. They seem to think of it as a thing by itself, a Power, a Force, a sort of Mumbo Jumbo whose special function it is to produce national prosperity. They do not appear to have analyzed it, or given themselves an account of it, sufficiently to know what kind of a thing it is or how it acts.