[<< wikibooks] Economic Sophisms/112
style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"shipping, and more largely employ your marine resources. This 
is what you call a wise economy. 
On the same principle, why do you not ask that the pines of 
Russia should be brought to you with their branches, bark, and 
roots; the silver of Mexico in its mineral state; the hides of 
Buenos Ayres sticking to the bones of the diseased carcases 
from which they have been torn?
I expect that railway shareholders, the moment they are in a 
majority in the Chambers, will proceed to make a law forbidding 
the manufacture of the brandy which is consumed in 
Paris. And why not? Would not a law enforcing the 
conveyance of ten casks of wine for every cask of brandy afford 
Parisian industry the indispensable materials of its labour, and 
give employment to our locomotive resources?
How long will men shut their eyes to this simple truth? 
Manufactures, shipping, labour.—all have for end the general, 
the public good; to create useless industries, to favour 
superfluous conveyances, to support a greater amount of labour than 
is necessary, not for the good of the public, but at the expense 
of the public—is to realize a true petitio principii. It is not 
labour which is desirable for its own sake; it is consumption. 
All labour without a commensurate result is a loss. You may 
as well pay sailors for pitching stones into the sea as pay them 
for transporting useless refuse. Thus, we arrive at the result to 
which all economic sophisms, numerous as they are, conduct us, 
namely, confounding the means with the end, and developing 
the one at the expense of the other.