Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/54

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42
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.


Add 5 per cent as per tariff $2 20
$46 26
Add 2 per cent municipal duty 93
$47 19
Add 5 per cent consumption duty 2 36
$49 55
Dispatch of goods at Buena Vista station, city of Mexico 38
Stamps for permit 50
$50 43
$107 03
Cartage in city of Mexico 75
 Total $107 78
Résumé:
Original cost of stove, with exchange $31 80
Freight, consular fees, and forwarding 24 80
Import duties 50 43
Cartage 75
 Total $107 78


Under such a system articles of the most common use in the United States are from their increase of price necessarily made articles of luxury.

Again, the Mexican tariff provides that the effects of immigrants shall be admitted free. "But this is rendered practically a dead letter, from the fact that the interior duties are levied on everything the immigrant has before he gets settled; and these are so heavy that immigration has been greatly discouraged. A carpenter, or other mechanic, who desires to get employment in Mexico, has such heavy duties levied on his tools on passing the national or State frontiers that few are willing or able to pay them. Hence, few American mechanics find their way into the country, unless in accordance with special contract."

The existence in a state of the New World of a system of taxation so antagonistic to all modern ideas, and so destructive of all commercial freedom, is certainly very curious, and prompts to the following reflections: First, how great were the wisdom and foresight of the framers of the Constitution of the United States in providing, at the very commencement of the Federal Union, that no power to tax in this manner, and for their own use or benefit, should ever be permitted to the States that might compose it (Article I, section 10). Second, how did such a system come to be ingrafted on Mexico, for it is not a modern contrivance? All are agreed that it is an old-time practice and a legacy of Spanish domination. But, further than this, may it not be another of those numerous relics of European mediævalism which, having utterly disappeared in the countries of their origin, seem to have become embalmed, as it were, in what were the old Spanish