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 part nature executes is always gratuitous; it is the part executed by human labor that constitutes value and is paid for.
You will tell us that, if we gain by the protection we seek, the country will lose by it, because the consumer must bear the loss.
We ask you to be so good as to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull’s-eyes, deadlights, and blinds — in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter houses, to the detriment of the fair industries with which, we are proud to say, we have endowed the country, a country that cannot, without betraying ingratitude, abandon us today to so unequal a combat.
Skip to main content. It needs but a little reflection, gentlemen, to be convinced that there is perhaps not one Frenchman, from the wealthy stockholder of the Anzin Company to the humblest vendor of matches, whose condition would not be improved by the success of our petition.
You desire to protect him from foreign competition and reserve the national market for national industry. No 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.
It is a quarter, a half, or three-quarters of the value of the product if the foreigner asks of us only three-quarters, one-half, or one-quarter as high a price.
When an orange comes to us from Portugal, we 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. If more tallow be consumed, there will arise a necessity for an increase of cattle and sheep.
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.
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.
The consumer is interested in the free introduction of iron, coal, corn, wheat, cloths, etc. Now, it is precisely this semigratuity pardon the word that we contend should be excluded. Contrariwise, if agriculture is prosperous, it will open markets for manufactured goods.
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.
Gentlemen, if you will be pleased to reflect, you cannot fail to be convinced that there is perhaps not one Frenchman, from the opulent stockholder of Anzin down to the poorest vendor of matches, who is not interested in the success of our petition. If a Lisbon orange sells for half the price of a Paris orange, it is because natural, and consequently gratuitous, heat does for one what artificial, and therefore expensive, heat must do for the other.
The Candlemakers’ Petition, by Frederic Bastiat
Will you say that the light of the sun is a gratuitous gift, and that to repulse gratuitous gifts, is to repulse riches under pretence of encouraging the means of obtaining them? We anticipate your objections, gentlemen; but there is not a single one of them that you have not picked up from the musty old books of candlemakeds advocates of free trade.
The question, and we ask it formally, is this: If more oil is consumed, then we shall have an extended cultivation of the poppy, of the olive, and of rape. Articles letition Paris are objects specifically manufactured in Paris.
The Candlemakers’ Petition | Mises Institute
These rich and soil-exhausting plants will come at the right time to bsatiat us to avail ourselves of the increased fertility that the rearing of additional cattle will impart to our lands. We are subjected to the intolerable competition of a foreign rival, who enjoys, it would seem, such superior facilities for the production of light, that he is enabled to inundate our national market at petirion exceedingly reduced a price, that, the moment he makes his appearance, he draws off all custom from us; and thus an important branch of French industry, with all its innumerable ramifications, is suddenly reduced to a state of complete stagnation.
You are on the right road.
Yes, but the czndlemakers is interested in their exclusion. View the discussion thread. When you are told that the consumer is interested in the free importation of iron, coal, corn, textile fabrics — yes, you reply, but the producer is interested in their exclusion.
Remember that hitherto you have always repelled foreign products, because they approximate more nearly than home products the character of gratuitous gifts.
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We defy you to utter a word against us that will not instantly rebound against yourselves and the principle behind all your policy. There is none, not even the poor manufacturer of resin in the midst of his pine forests, nor the miserable miner in his dark dwelling, but who would enjoy an increase of salary and of comforts.
No, nothing is more deceptive than theory.
If France consumes more oil, we shall see an expansion in the cultivation of the poppy, the olive, and rapeseed. Now it is precisely on account of this demi-gratuity excuse the word that you argue in favor of exclusion. In this belief we are confirmed by the fact that in all his transactions with this proud island, he is much more moderate and careful than with us. But what shall we say of the manufacture of articles de Paris? There is no needy resin-collector on the heights of his sand dunes, no poor miner in the depths of his black pit, who will not receive higher wages and enjoy increased prosperity.
If France consumes more tallow, there will have to be more cattle and sheep, and, consequently, we shall see an increase in cleared fields, meat, wool, leather, and especially manure, the basis of all agricultural wealth. Thus, also, if the consumer is interested in the admission of light, we, the producers, pray for its interdiction.