Protection to Native Industry (Classic Reprint)

Protection to Native Industry (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Protection to Native Industry

Protection to Native Industry is not a question of sentiment or theory, but of fact and common sense. There is no magic or mystery about it; it is an ordinary calculation of cost, in which all the conditions and figures are perfectly well known. Wages in France, Belgium, Prussia, Austria, and Switzerland, are from 30 to 50 per cent, lower than in England: rent, clothing, food, beer, taxes, and general charges are all in the same proportion: the habits of the people are economical in the extreme, the manufacturers have as much capital, science, and enterprise, and their operatives as much skill and intelligence, and technical education and industry as we have: they get their raw materials very nearly at the same price we do. The question is, Can our manufacturers, with higher wages, higher rates and taxes, higher general charges, and our operatives, with dearer food, dearer clothing, dearer house rent, and extravagant habits, produce as cheaply as they can ?

A large and rapidly increasing number of those interested in our industries throughout the country, of all political opinions, say, openly and decidedly, they cannot; a still larger number agree with them; but they have not yet the pluck openly to avow it: they are unwilling to desert their leaders, and to confess their preaching has been vanity.

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