style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"
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