[<< wikibooks] Economic Sophisms/90
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M. DE SAINT-CRICQ inquires, "Whether it is certain that the 
foreigner will buy from us as much as he sells?"
M. de Dombasle asks, "What reason we have to believe that 
English producers will take from us, rather than from some 
other country of the world, the commodities they have need of, 
and an amount of commodities equivalent in value to that of 
their exports to France?"
I wonder how so many men who call themselves practical 
men should have all reasoned without reference to practice!
In practice, does a single exchange take place, out of a 
hundred, out of a thousand, out of ten thousand perhaps, which 
represents the direct barter of commodity for commodity? Never 
since the introduction of money has any agriculturist said: I 
want to buy shoes, hats, advice, lessons; but only from the 
shoemaker, the hat-maker, the lawyer, the professor, who will 
purchase from me corn to an exactly equivalent value. And 
why should nations bring each other under a yoke of this kind? 
Practically how are such matters transacted? 
Let us suppose a people shut out from external relations. A 
man, we shall suppose, produces wheat. He sends it to the 
home market, and offers it for the highest price he can obtain. 
He receives in exchange—what? Coins, which are just so many 
drafts or orders, varying very much in amount, by means of 
which he can draw, in his turn, from the national stores, when 
he judges it proper, and subject to due competition, everything 
which he may want or desire. Ultimately, and at the end of 
the operation, he will have drawn from the mass the exact 
equivalent of what he has contributed to it, and, in value, 
his consumption will exactly equal his production. 
If the exchanges of the supposed nation with foreigners are 
left free, it is no longer to the national, but to the general, 
market that each sends his contributions, and, in turn, derives 
his supplies for consumption. He has no need to care whetherTemplate:Smallrefs