Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IV: THE BURDEN OF PROTECTION - The Comedy of Protection
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CHAPTER IV: THE BURDEN OF PROTECTION - Yves Guyot, The Comedy of Protection 
The Comedy of Protection, trans. M.A. Hamilton (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1906).
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THE BURDEN OF PROTECTION
Incidence—Duty on raw materials equal to £120,000,000.
National expenditure is relatively small; the National Debt also—$914,500,000; the interest being $25,541,000, i.e., 32 cents—1s. 4d. per head. The ordinary budget was $560,000,000 in 1903, of which $279,800 came from the Customs, and represented a tax of 14s. 8d. per head—according to the Protectionists the total effect of the duty. In so far, however, as the tariff did not raise the price of home products by the full amount of the tax, it failed of its protective purpose; and it is therefore not enough, in increasing the burden it imposed, to look at what the Treasury received: that is found by multiplying the rise in price of dutiable articles by the amount consumed.
The following table gives the value of the imports, dutiable and exempt, and the proportion of duties on the former for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1903:—
Thus in 1897 dutiable goods were 50 per cent., the whole more than 58 per cent. in 1901 and 1903, and 54·18 per cent. in 1904—that is, rather more than half the total import. The yield of the duties on food and live stock is higher in proportion than the yield from those on luxuries, since it falls on the necessaries of existence. Up to 1897 raw materials were from 20 to 26 per cent. of the imports, since they have been 32 to 38 per cent., while partly manufactured goods are 9 to 12 per cent.
Thus half of the imports are goods which form the material of the industries of the United States; and all taxes on raw materials are taxes on industry which uses, according to the census returns, 2,391,000,000 dollars’ worth of raw materials and 4,684,000,000 dollars’ worth of partly manufactured goods—a total of 7,030 million dollars’ worth.
According to the commercial tables for 1904, 308 million dollars’ worth of raw materials were exempt, while 181 million dollars’ worth, i.e., 35 per cent. of the whole, paid a duty of 25 to 30 per cent. Applying this percentage to only a third of the raw materials of industry, there is a tax of over 600 million dollars on the raw materials of the United States; and yet this system is by some strange irony called protective!
While America practises economy of effort in all the daily actions of her industrial life, her Customs duties multiply the efforts necessary to procure her the foreign products that she needs, and even the raw materials that she finds at home.