Page:Economic Sophisms.djvu/40

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28
ECONOMIC SOPHISMS.

capital, are in little request in B, and will soon fall in price there.

Nor is this all. While A is always selling, and B is always buying, money passes from B to A. It becomes abundant in A, and scarce in B.

But abundance of money means that we must have plenty of it to buy everything else. Then in A, to the real dearness which arises from a very active demand, there is added a nominal dearness, which is due to a redundancy of the precious metals.

Scarcity of money means that little is required for each purchase. Then in B a nominal cheapness comes to be combined with real cheapness.

In these circumstances, industry will have all sorts of motives—motives, if I may say so, carried to the highest degree of intensity—to desert A and establish itself in B.

Or, to come nearer what would actually take place under such circumstances, we may affirm that sudden displacements being so repugnant to the nature of industry, such a transfer would not have been so long delayed, but that from the beginning, under the free régime, it would have gradually and progressively shared and distributed itself between A and B, according to the laws of supply and demand—that is to say, according to the laws of justice and utility.

And when I assert that if it were possible for industry to concentrate itself upon one point, that very circuimstance would set in motion an irresistible decentralizing force, I indulge in no idle hypothesis.

Let us listen to what was said by a manufacturer in addressing the Manchester Chamber of Commerce (I omit the figures by which he supported his demonstration):—

"Formerly we exported stuffs; then that exportation gave place to that of yams, which are the raw material of stuffs; then to that of machines, which are the instruments for producing yarn; afterwards to the exportation of the capital with which we construct our machines; finally, to that of our workmen and our industrial skill, which are the source of our capital. All these elements of labour, one after the other, are set to work wherever they find the most advantageous opening, wherever the expense of living is cheaper and the necessaries