Unwise Laws

Unwise Laws

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Excerpt from Unwise Laws: A Consideration of the Operations of a Protective Tariff Upon Industry, Commerce, and Society

As an answer to the first question: It is written because every writer or speaker appears to have handled this subject from the standpoint of some particular interest to be benefited, and few have attempted to treat the subject of a protective tariff in a comprehensive manner. Some attack our tariff because they think it affects some industry or interest in which they are interested, and when that particular interest is relieved, then their hostility to the tariff ceases. Some object to our tariff because it hinders the free importation of so-called raw materials, and when they are admitted free their opposition is silenced. Some again are vehement opponents of our tariff because under it we cannot import ships without paying duties on them, but give them free ships and they have nothing more to say against the tariff. But few, if any, attack the principle of protection, and remain true to their premises.

In this volume I march to the attack of the very citadel of protection. I aim my shafts at its very heart, and if I fail in my object it is ;(?because my position is unsound, but because my pen is feeble. As will be seen, I am opposed to preferences and privileges of every kind, and demand that every citizen shall be as untrammelled (recognizing of course the necessity and the right of the government to raise all the revenue it requires for the economical administration of its affairs,) in his commercial and industrial relations as he is in his political relations.

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