… Excerpted from page 25 of William Gladstone’s January 1890 Contribution to the Debate with James G. Blaine of Maine on Free Trade and Protection.; These comments in CCCXCVIII of North American Review:
So I am concerned that protectionism is not only morally bad but also economically bad. This is very different from saying that all conservationists are bad. Most of them, without a doubt, are good, nay, the best, as in this country [the U.K.] Many supporters of the corn law. I am speaking of a systematic tendency, which operates in different ways, unconsciously in most people, in some people not at all; And that system which makes an individual or group to live upon the resources of the community, and to diminish that store comparatively, cannot be good, which ought to teach the duty of citizens and their equal rights to be observed. Contributed to add. The habit of mind thus formed is neither conducive to a free nation nor to independent character. And the more the protection system is discussed and debated, the more loved ones are pushed to fight for its maintenance, the less likely they are to distance themselves from equal rights law, perhaps even a truly personal tone. Freedom.
Conservationists insist that their policy is a way to show dignity to workers. But such honor is false, even when it comes from the heart. It is not honorable to be employed just because the government forcibly restricts the economic options of citizens. It is not honorable for citizens to be paid as high as they are just because they are not forced to spend their income as they wish. To be employed in such occupations and to receive such wages is dependent, and there should be shame rather than honor in being dependent on the citizens.
Conservationists are economic dependent traders. The above are to the body politic what the creature is to the body individual. The fact that many conservationists are ignorant of the ugly nature and harmful consequences of what they sell only speaks to their mental weakness.
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