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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 39

Chapter I. — Introductory

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Chapter I.


The golden rule for successful trading is "to buy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest market." Strange to say, the American farmer * reverses this rule. He sells in the cheapest and buys in the dearest market. For what he raises he gets a lower price, and for what he consumes he pays a higher price, than the land-tillers get and pay in any other country in the world. This is a very singular state of things, and is well worth thorough examination.

While the Western farmer himself neither receives nor seeks any legislative "protection," he is compelled by law to supply his wants, not from the cheapest sources, but from certain privileged establishments to which he has to pay extravagant prices. While he requires no State subvention, because his occupation is of itself a profitable one, he is heavily taxed to support unprofitable manufactures in the Eastern States, and has to make good their losses out of his profits. That this is hard upon him everybody must admit, but no one can realise how really hard it is, or how vast a sum is year after year wrung from him in this way, without resorting to figures and setting it forth in page 6 dollars and cents. This we shall proceed to do as accurately and as briefly as we can.

For this purpose let us inquire—
1.How much is actually taken yearly out of the pockets of the American farmers by compelling them to buy dear, instead of allowing them to buy cheap, goods.
2.What becomes of the enormous sum that is yearly drained from them in this way.
3.How this dreadful and wanton waste can be avoided.

* The word "farmer" will be used throughout these pages as meaning the producer of all articles derived from the cultivation of the soil, whether grain or cotton, meat or tobacco, &c.