The Candlemakers’ Petition. by Frédéric Bastiat (). A Petition from the Manufacturers of Candles, Wax-Lights, Lamps, Chandeliers, Reflectors, Snuffers, . 09/19/Claude Frédéric Bastiat. Petition of the Manufacturers of Candles, Waxlights, Lamps, Candlelights, Street Lamps, Snuffers, Extinguishers, and the. I’ve taken the liberty of channeling my “inner Bastiat” to revise and modernize “ The Candlemakers’ Petition” for today’s protectionist climate that.
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The Candlemakers’ Petition
If you urge that the light of the sun is a gratuitous gift of nature, and that to reject such gifts is to reject wealth itself under pretense of encouraging the means of acquiring it, we would caution you against giving a death-blow to your own policy.
How, you say, could national labor sustain the competition of foreign labor, when the first has every thing to do, and the last is rid of half the trouble, the sun taking the rest of the business upon himself? In a word, you wish to secure the national market to national labor. You have yourselves already answered the objection. The same remark applies to navigation.
Petifion poor resinier from his heights on the seacoast, no coal miner from the depth of his sable gallery, but will rejoice in higher wages and increased prosperity.
The moment he shows himself, our trade leaves us — all consumers apply to him; and a branch of native industry, having countless ramifications, is basgiat at once rendered completely stagnant. If the manufacturer profits by protection, he will make the farmer prosperous.
Remember that hitherto you have always repulsed foreign produce, because it was an approach to a gratuitous gift, and the more in proportion as this approach was more close. Thus, there is no branch of agriculture that shall not greatly develop. Cast an eye upon the future and behold the gildings, the bronzes, the magnificent crystal chandeliers, lamps, reflectors and candelabras, which will glitter in the spacious stores, compared with which the splendor of the present day will appear trifling and insignificant.
No, nothing is more deceptive than theory. You have ceased to have any right to invoke the interest of the consumer; for, whenever his interest is found opposed to that of the producer, you sacrifice the former.
Unknown translator maybe someone from the FEE. You are on the right road. When you are told that canvlemakers consumer is interested in the free importation of iron, coal, corn, textile fabrics — yes, you reply, but the producer is interested in their exclusion.
We shall say, then, your practice — your practice without theory and without principle. The gift is more or less considerable in proportion as the difference is more or less great. Ccandlemakers, if agriculture is prosperous, it will open markets for manufactured goods. And, first, if you shut up as much as possible all access to natural light, and create a demand for artificial light, which of our French manufactures will not be encouraged by it?
You no longer have the right to invoke the interests of the consumer. Thus we, if you confer upon us the monopoly of furnishing light during the day, will as a first consequence buy large quantities of tallow, coals, oil, resin, wax, alcohol, silver, iron, bronze, crystal, for the supply of our business; and then we and our numerous contractors having become rich, our consumption will be great, and will become a means of contributing to the comfort and competency of the workers in every branch of national labor.
But if this half, being gratuitous, determines you to exclude competition, how should the whole, basfiat gratuitous, induce you to admit competition? But you dislike doctrines, you abhor systems, and as for principles you deny that there are any in social economy. Do you tell us, that if we gain by this protection, France will not gain, because the consumer must pay the price of it?
The part nature executes is always gratuitous; it is the part executed by human labor that constitutes value and is paid for. Yes, but the candlema,ers is interested in their exclusion. You concern yourselves mainly with the fate of the producer. If you were consistent, you would, while excluding as hurtful to native industry what is half gratuitous, exclude a fortiori and with double zeal that which is altogether gratuitous. You have yourselves obviated this objection.
Candlemakers’ Petition – RationalWiki
When an orange comes to us canclemakers Portugal, baxtiat may conclude that it is furnished in part gratuitously, in part for an onerous consideration; in other words, it comes to us at half price as compared with those of Paris. Canrlemakers rival, which is none other than the sun, is waging war on us so mercilessly we suspect pdtition is being stirred up against us by perfidious Albion excellent diplomacy nowadays!
You have, in obeying the wishes of other monopolists, acted only from a half-motive ; to grant our petition there is a much fuller inducement. These rich yet soil-exhausting plants will come at just the right time to enable us to put to profitable use the increased fertility that the breeding of cattle will impart to the land. Make your choice, but be logical; for as long as you exclude, as you do, coal, iron, corn, foreign fabrics, in proportion as their price approximates to zero, what inconsistency it would be to admit the light of the sun, the price of which is already at zero during the entire day!
This plant, luxuriant and exhausting to the soil, will come in good time to profit by the increased fertility which the raising of cattle will have communicated to our fields.
You have sacrificed him whenever you have found his interests opposed to those of the producer. You have done so for the purpose of encouraging labor and increasing employment. If France consumes more oil, oetition shall see an expansion in the cultivation of the poppy, the olive, and rapeseed.
You have done this to encourage laborto increase the demand for labor. Either you are not consistent, or you should, after excluding what is half free of charge as harmful to our domestic industry, exclude what is totally gratuitous with all the more reason and with twice the zeal. The question, and we pose it formally, is whether what you desire for France is the benefit of consumption free of petitiln or the alleged advantages of onerous production.
We defy you to utter a canlemakers against us that will not instantly rebound against yourselves and the principle behind all your policy. We dare challenge you to pronounce one word against our petition, which is not equally opposed to your own practice and the principle which guides your policy. It is as perfect and complete as it can be when the donor like the sun in furnishing us with light asks us for petitjon.
But you do not like doctrines; you hold systems in basyiat and, as for principles, you declare that there are no such things in political economy.
Indeed, you yourselves have anticipated this objection. There is, in short, no branch of agriculture which would not be greatly developed by the granting of our petition.