Abbildungen der Seite

France does not produce more than half which preys upon them. There are the alimentary produce which she is probably several, which will successively capable of producing. Suppose le is shew themselves ; , but I already i pera right in this; suppose even that with a ceive one - immense — fatal.- and de. inore perfect agricultural system, France serving the inost serious attention, u m were to obtain double her present quan Suppose some individual, a collector tity of rural produce, without employing of public revenue for instance, were to more agricultural labourers*, she would take up his residence in the neighbour then possess 45 millions of inhabitants hood of each commercial, manufactur. at liberty to devote themselves to all ing, or agricultural establishment, and other occupations exclusive of agricul- without increasing the goodness of the ture. Her manufactures would find produce, its utility, or the quality, by better markets in the country than at which it becomes an object of desire present, because the country would be and demand, were nevertheless to, ine. more productive, and the surplus would crease the costs of its production : what, be sold among the manufacturing popu- I ask, would be the consequence? lation itself. People would not be worse The value which is set on a commodity, fed than at present, but they would in even where the means of obtaining it general be better provided with articles exist t, depends on the enjoyment and of manufacture; with better dwellings, utility which it is expected to afford.. superior household goods, finer clothing, In proportion as its price rises, many and with objects of utility, instruction, persons cease to think it worth the exand entertainment, which are now re- pense which it occasions, and thus the served for a very small number of peo- number of buyers is diminished. ir... ple. The rest of the population is still Besides, since taxes do not augment rude and barbarous.

the profits of the producer, yet increase But in proportion as the manufac- the price of all produce, the incomes of turing class increased, alimentary pro- producers become insufficient to purduce would become more in demand chase the produce, the moment its price and dearer with relation to manufac- is raised by an accident such as that, tures. The latter would produce dimi- which I am about to describe, nished profits and wages, which would Let us represent this effect by num. discourage those engaged in such bran- bers, in order to pursue it to its remotest. ches of industry; hence it is easy to con- consequences. It will be well worth ceive how the restrictions which nature the trouble of examination, if it epable imposes' on agricultural production, us to discern one of the principal causes limit the produce of manufacture. But, of the evil which menaces every induse this effect, like all which happens na- trious nation of the earth. Already the turally and results from the nature of troubles of England forewarn other, things, would be very gradual, long fore- countries of the miseries reserved for, seen, and attended with fewer inconve- them. They will be more painful, niences than any other possible combi- wherever a inore robust temperament nation,

excites to a greater developement of inAdmitting the limits thus set by na- dustry; which if unrepressed may even ture to the production of provisions, tually produce the happiest results; but and, indirectly, of all other coininodities, will otherwise end in the most terrible it may be asked how it happens that convulsions, very industrious countries, such as Eng. If the manufacturer who produces a land, where capital abounds and com- piece of stuff, after distributing amongst, munications are easy, find the sale of his assistants and himself a sum of 30. their goods impeded long before their francs for the productive services which agricultural produce has attained its ut. most limit." Is there then some un- t A man's means of acquisition are the soundness - some concealed disease, profits which he derives from his industry,

his capital, and his landIs. Consumers who * This supposition is very admissible, have neither industry, capital, nor fand,'. since in England three fourths of the popu-" spend only what they levy from the profits lation inhabit towns, and consequently are of the former. In all cases every one has a not employed in agricultural pursuits. A limited revenue;'and though the possessors! country supporting to millions of inhabi- of very large incomes can sacrifice a great tants, might therefore be well cultivated by quantity of money for very trivial enjoyu'! 15 millions of agricultural labourers; atments, it must bc allowed that thc dearer which number the cultivators of Frarce are any gratification is, the less it is considered now actually estimated.



have been employed in the fabrication live upon five-sixths of what he proof the piece, is moreover compelled to duces. I am willing to admit that; but pay six francs to the receiver of taxes, permit me to ask whether you think either he must cease to make stuffs, or the producer could live equally well if he must sell them for 36 francs the two-sixths, instead of one, were depiece.* But when this piece of stuff manded from him ?-No; but still he comes thus to be valued at 36 francs, would live. Ah! you think so. Pray, those who produced it and have only then would he still live in case tworeceived, all together, 30 francs, will thirds were wrested from him—then only be able to buy five-sixths of the three-fourths ?—But you do not attempt same article of which they could pre to reply. viously purchase the whole; he who Now, Sir, I Aatter myself that my before could purchase a yard, must now answers to the most urgent objections be restricted to five-sixths of a yard, and offered by you and M. Sismondi will be so on.

easily comprehended. If by creating The producer of corn who pays to new productions, say you, we are enanother receiver a duty of six francs, abled to consume them, or to exchange on a sack of corn, of which the pro- them for others of which there exists a ductive services have cost 30 francs, superabundance, and thus to procure must now obtain 36 francs for his sack markets for both, why then are not such instead of 30. It follows that the pro- new productions created ? Is ducers of corn and stuffs, when pur- wanting? Capital abounds : every chasing either of those articles, can where undertakings are sought for in only acquire by their gains five-sixths of which it may be advantageously emtheir produce

ployed: it is evident that there are no As this effect is seen in these two longer any such : you declare (p: 499) commodities reciprocally, it may also that all kinds of commerce are already take place in other articles. Without overstocked with capital and labourers, changing the state of the question, it is who all offer their produce under prime easy to suppose that producers, in what- cost, as M. Sismondi assures us. ever species of produce they may be oc I am not quite prepared to say, that cupied, have occasion for liquors, colo- to follow the useful arts is a fool's nial produce, lodgings, amusements, ob- trade; but you will allow, gentlemen, jects of convenience and luxury. These that the effect which you lament would commodities they will find dearer, and be go near to make it so. To buy the unable to pay for them with their reve- superabundant produce, it would be nues, such as they are, according to the requisite to create other produce : but if rank which they occupy among the the producers were placed in too disadproducers. Upon the hypothesis which vantageous a situation ; if, after exwe have taken for our example, there erting the productive means sufficient will always remain a sixth part of the for producing an ox, they were to obproduce unsold.

tain only a sheep, and for this sheep, True it is, that the six francs taken in exchange for any other kind of proby the collector go to some one; and duce, were only 10 gain the same that those whom the collector represents quantity of utility which exists in a (public functionaries, military men, or sheep, who would go on producing unpublic creditors) may employ this money der such disadvantages? The persons in obtaining the remaining sixth part, engaged in such a business would have either of the sack of corn, or the piece made a bad bargain ; they would have of stuff, or of any other produce. This expended a value which the utility of indeed is just what actually happens. their produce would not suffice to reBut let it be observed that this con- imburse ; whoever should be silly enough sumption is entirely at the expense to create another production sufficient to of the producers; and that if the col- purchase the former, would have to conlector, or those by whom he is authoriz- tend with the same disadvantages, and ed, consume a sixth part of the produce, would involve himself in the same diffithe producers are thereby compelled to culties. The benefit which he might live upon the remaining five-sixths. derive fron his production would not

This you will allow ; but at the same indemnify him for its expenses ; and time I shall be told that any one may whatever he might buy with this pro

dute would still be of no greater value. • If he tecluce the quality, it will be equivalent to an increase in the price.

• Nouveaux Principes, liv. iv. chap. 4.

Then, indeed, the workman would no condition of the producer, the essential longer be able to live by bis labour, and party in every society, more disagreeable would become burthensome to his or irksome, tends to destroy the vitat parish*; then the manufacturer, un principle of the social body zrto teduce a able to live on his profits, would re civilized people to al savage state p to ia: nounce his businessHe would buy troduce a state of things in whiehi tess is stock, or go abroad in search of a better produced and less consumed to destroy situation; either a more lucrative em- civilization, which always flourishes ployment, or, what is exactly eqnivalent, most where there is most production the opportunity of continuing his pro- and consumption. You-observe, nin ductive industry at a more moderate ex- several places, that man is naturally in pense. If he were there to meet with dolent, and that it betrays great ignorOther inconveniences, he 'would again ance of his nature to suppose that he seek another theatre for his talents; and will always consume all he can produce different nations would be seen throwing (p. 503). You are right, indeed; but I at each other their capitals and their lae have maintained the same doctrine in bourers; that is to say, the only sources declaring, that the utility of produce is of social prosperity, from which the no longer worth the productive services greatest 'advantages may be derived by which are required to pay for it. . ; perto those who understand their true interests You appear convinced of this truth and the means by which they may be where you say, on another occasioni promoted. .


(p. 342), A tax may put an end to the ' I shall not attempt to point out the production of a commodity, if nobody parts of this picture which apply more in the society will consent to give for particularly to your country, Sir, or to this commodity a price proportioned to any other; but I leave it for your con- the new difficulties of its production sideration, and that of all well-meaning Commerce transports to the extremities men who exert themselves to promote of the earth this inherent fault of mer. the welfare of the interesting, laborious, chandize (of costing more in production and useful part of mankind.

than the worth of the article). Valued Why do the savages of the new at its cost, it is every where too dear, world,' whose precarious existence de- because it must be purchased by propends upon the uncertain Aight of an ductive services equivalent to those em arrow, neglect to build villages, and to ployed in its production... Pisani inclose' and cultivate lands? Because A nother consideration, by no means this kind of life demands labour too unimportant, is, that the costs of proassiduous and painful. They are in the duction are augmented not only by mul wrong; they calculate ill, for the priva- tiplied duties, by the dearness of articles tions they endure are far less tolerable of every sort, but by the habits which than the toils which social life, well or- are produced by a vicious political sys ganized, would impose upon them. But tem. If the progress of luxury and if this social life were a galley, in which, enormous emoluments-if the facility of after rowing with all their strength for obtaining illegitimate profits through fasixteen hours out of the twenty-four, vour and influence in contracts and they were able to obtain only a piece of financial operations, force the manubread insufficient to feed them, they facturer, the merchant, the, real pro. might really be excused for disliking ducer, to exact profits disproportioned social life. Now whatever renders the to the productive services which he ren

The workman can only labour constantly whilst his work pays for his subsistence ; and when bis subsistence becomes too dear, it no longer suits the master to employ himvise

* Mr. Ricardo insists that, notwithstanding taxes and other charges, there is always as much industry as capital employed; and that all capital saved is always employed, because the interest is not suffered to be lost. On the contrary, many savings are not invested, when it is difficult to find employment for them, and many which are employed are dissipated in ill-calculated undertakings. Besides, Ms. Ricardo is completely refuted not only by what happened to us in 1813, when the errors of Government ruined all commerce and when the interest of money fell very low, for want of good opportunities of emplaying it bot by our present circumstances, when capitals are quietly sleeping in the coffers of their proprie tors. The bank of France alone possesses 223 millions of specie in its chestsy more than double the amount of its notes in circulation, and six times what it would be prudent to me serve for the ordinary course of its payments 3 A kl 108 18:8 lg UH +


derso in order to maintain his rank. in capitalist can often withdraw his capital society, then all these abuses tend to from one employment to place it in taise the costs of production, and con- another, or to send it abroad, The prosequently the price of produce above the prietor of a manufactory inay often be value of their actual utility. The con- fortunate enough to suspend bis labours sumption of commodities consequently for a time. Besides, as long as the becomes more limited, the productive capitalist and the master-manufacturer services frequisite for the creation of can make their own terms with the other exebangeable produce being too workman, the latter is obliged to work considerable -- the necessary expenses constantly, and at any price, even when too heavy. Consider then, Sir,' what the employment does not procure him extensive evils are produced by encourag- a subsistence. Thus do the excessive ing useless expenses and multiplying charges of production reduce many unproductive consumers.

classes of certain nations to the necessiThe rapid sale of articles offered at ty of confining their consumption to a chcap rate by means of expeditious articles the most indispensable to their methods of production, proves how existence, and the lowest classes of all truly the cost of production is the real to die of want. Now, Sir, is not this, impediment to the sale of goods. If the upon your own principle*, the most price be reduced one fourth, it is found fatal and barbarous of all the methods of that a double quantity is sold. The reducing the numbers of mankind it.. reason is, that every one is then enabled We now coine to the objection in to acquire it with less trouble, less costs which there is, perhaps, the greatest of production. When under the Con- force, because it is supported by an imtinental system it was necessary to pay posing example. In the United States five francs for a pound of sugar, whether the charges of production are few, the the money were applied to the produc- taxes are light, and yet they are overs tion of the sugar, or of any other com- stocked there, as in all other places, modity to be exchanged for it, France with merchandize for which there exwas able to purchase only fourteen mil- ists no demand. These difficulties, you lions of pounds.* Now that sugar is say I, cannot be attributed to the culticheap, we consame eighty millions of vation of bad lands, to the obstacles oppounds per annum, being about three posed to industry, to enormous taxes. pounds for each person. At Cuba, There must, then, be something indewhere sugar is still cheaper, they con- pendent of the power of production sume above thirty pounds for every free necessary to the increase of wealth..!

Well, Sir, you will scarcely believe Let us then agree upon a truth which that, according to me, it is the power of on every side presses on our notice. To production, at least for the present, of levy exaggerated duties, with or without which the Americans are in want, in the participation of a national representation, or by means of a burlesque re- Malthus on Population, book Il. chap. presentaion, no matter which, is to 13. 5th ed. augment the costs of production with o f Mr. Malthus, convinced that certain out increasing the utility of the pro- classes are serviceable to society on account duce, without adding any thing to the

of what they consume alone, without prosatisfaction which the consumer may

ducing any thing, would look upon the payderive from it ; it is imposing a fine on

ment of the whole, or a great part of the

English national debt, as a misfortune.' 'On production--ON THAT PROCESS THROUGH

the contrary, this operation would, in my WHICH SOCIETY EXISTS. And as among opinion, be very desirable for England ; for producers some are more advantageously the consequence would be, that the public situated than others for throwing upon creditors, being paid off, would seek to derive their competitors all the burthen of un- an income from their capitals; that the fortunate events, the latter are more payers of taxes would themselves spend the grievously affected than the former. A 40 millions sterling which they now pay to

. the public creditors'; that the taxes being

diminished by 40 millions sterling, all pro- See the report on the situation of duce would be cheaper that consumption France made in 1813, by the then mj= would consequently be greatly extended, and nister of the interior. He was interested. would afford employment to the labouring ini concealing this: 1 dimination of com- classes results in which, I confess, I see merce. Tam husey ji


n nothing to alarm the friends of the public + Humbolt, Essai sur la Nouvelle Es- weal., *

! Eh * pagne, t. III. p. 183.

I P. 498. New MONTHLY Mag.–No. 82. Vol. XIV.

3 U


order to dispose of their_overflowing original country, became more abundproduce to advantage.

ant in Europe, and at length sô cons The favourable situation of this people, pletely overstocked the European marduring a long war in which they have kets, that a fair price could not be obalmost always enjoyed the advantage of tained for them, although the consumpa neutrality, has been the means of turn- tion of Europe has greatly increased ing their attention, their industry, and since the peace : hence the disadvantacapitals, far too exclusively to external geous returns which we have witnessed. and maritime commerce. The Ameri- But sappose for an instant that the agricans are enterprising ; their voyages are cultural and manufactured produce of cheaply performed; they have intro- both North and South America had sudduced into navigation long courses, and denly become very considerable at the various expeditious manæuvres, which time of the peace, in that case the shorten voyages, reduce their expenses, people of those countries, being more and correspond, with those improve- numerous, and producing more, would ments in the arts which diminish the easily have purchased all the European costs of production ; in short, the Ameri- cargoes, and furnished a variety of reçans have drawn to themselves all the turns at a cheap rate. maritime commerce which the English This effect will, I doubt not, take have not been able to engross; they place with respect to the United States, have, for many years, been the inter- when they are enabled to add to the obmediate agents between all the Conti- jects of exchange furnished by their mental powers of Europe and the rest of inaritime commerce, a greater quantity the world. Their success has even ex of their agricultural produce, and perceeded that of the English wherever haps some articles of manufacture also, those nations have been competitors, as Their cultivation is extending, their in China. What has been the result? manufactures multiply, and their popuAn excessive abundance of those com- lation, in the natural order of things, modities which are obtained by com- increases with astonishing rapidity. In mercial and maritime industry'; and a few years the combination of their when the general peace at length open- varied industry will form a mass of proed the highway of the ocean to all na- duce amongst which will be found tions, the French and Dutch ships more articles calculated to furnish profitcrowded with a kind of madness into able returns, or at least profits of which the midst of a career thus newly opened the Americans will employ a part in the to them; and in their ignorance of the purchase of European merchandize. actual state of countries beyond sea Merchandize produced by Europeans their agriculture, arts, population, and at a less expense than it can be made resources for buying and consuming-- for in America will be carried to the these ships, escaped from a tedious de- United States ; and goods which the soil tention, carried in abundance the pro- and industry of America produce cheaper duce of the Continent of Europe to all than they can be had elsewhere, will be ports, presuming that the other nations carried home in exchange. The nature of the globe would be eager to possess of demands will determine the nature those commodities after their long se of productions; each nation will prefer paration from Europe.

engaging in that kind of production in But in order to purchase this extra- which it succeeds best, and the result ordinary supply, it would have been will be exchanges mutually and permarequisite for these countries to create im- nently advantageous. But these commediately extraordinary quantities of pro- mercial ameliorations can only be brought duce of their own; for the difficulty at about by time. The talents and expeNew York, at Baltimore, the Havanna, rience requisite for the practice of the Rio-Janeiro, or Buenos-Ayres, is not to arts are not acquired in a few months; consume, but to purchase European ma- years are necessary for their attainment. nufactures. But the Europeans required The Americans will not discover in payment in cottons, tobaccos, sugars, what manufactures they can succeed and rice; and this demand even en- until after several attempts *.' When hanced the prices : and as, notwithstanding the dearness of these merchan

* The manufactures which a new nation dizes, and of money, which is also mer

may execute to the greatest advantage, are, chandize, it was necessary to take thein in general, those which consist in preparing or return without payment, these very saw materials of their own growth, or imarticles, thus rendered scarce in their ported at a small expense. It is not pro

« ZurückWeiter »