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With Congress in a turmoil over a new outburst of its perennial tariff war, the latest news from the front is the petition, originated by Professor Taussig, and signed by over a thousand of the foremost economists protesting against the Hawley-Smoot Bill. Like most such protests, this petition will probably be pigeonholed while the Senator from Massachusetts, with an eye to a future election, pleads for a raise of the tariff on textiles or the Senator from Idaho thinks that his constituents would profit by further government protection of the wool market.
Meanwhile, scientists from all parts of the country, free from the influence of sectional prejudices, agree that the tariff is injurious to the nation as a whole. The import trade is lowered; large classes of people are in no way benefitted and many are harmed. The farm problem grows as the tariff increases.
That a republican government should be run by politicians is inevitable, but that these same politicians should control the economic theory of a nation's welfare is paradoxical. Politicians are seldom scholars; neither are scholars often politicians.
In spite of the learned opposition, the discussion at Washington will continue to fill many pages of the Congressional Record. Eventually a new tariff bill will be created. College professors will write more books on economic theory, pointing out the fallacies that are the foundation of the protecting wall and in time the nation's representatives will return to debating ways and means of solving the farm problem.
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