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sell it at a loss than lose it altogether. When in this
case the supply is too abundant, the exchangeable Political Ecoxone is the science which teaches the value will fall. On the other hand, when not enough manner in which nations and individuals acquire wealth. of any given product has been created to supply the
Wealth is anything which is capable of gratifying wants of the community, the buyers, rather than be our desires, and of procuring for us by exchange some deprived of it, will overbid each other, and thus will other object of gratification. Some objects are capable pay more than the natural price: that is, when the of gratifying our desires, but are incapable of procuring demand is unusually great, the exchangeable value will for us any other objects in exchange: such are air, the rise. These causes of fluctuation can, however, exist light of the sun, and commonly water. Others are but for short periods; and the constant tendency of the capable not only of gratifying our desires, but of pro-exchangeable value of any ordinary product will be curing for us other objects in exchange: such are fuel, towards the cost of the labour necessary to create it. cloth, salt, wheat, iron, money, &c. It is only articles Production is the act by which we give to any object of this latter class that are denominated wealth. its particular value, or its particular capacity to gratify
Value.—That quality in any object which renders human desire. Man can neither create nor annihilate it capable of gratifying our desires is called its value. anything; he can only change the form of that which Thus the value of air consists in its power to support is created. We cannot create iron, but we can extract life; the value of water consists in its capacity to slake it from the ore; we can then convert it into steel; we our thirst, and in its utility in the several purposes in can change a bar of steel into knife-blades. Each of the arts; the value of fuel consists in its capacity to these acts, by which a particular value is given to the impart to us warmth, to cook our food, &c.
iron, is called an act of production. When this value is considered simply as a capacity The substance to which any value has thus been to gratify human desire, it is called intrinsic value. imparted is termined a product.
When it is considered as a capacity to procure for us Capital.—The term capital is applied to the material something else in exchange, political economists term before it has been changed by labour into a product; it exchangeable value.
to the instruments with which this change is effected; Things which are everywhere abundant, and which to the means of subsistence by which the labourer is require no aid from human labour to render them supported; and also to the product which results from capable of gratifying our desires, have only intrinsic the application of labour to the raw material. value. This is the case with air, the light of the sun, &c. Exchange.-Every man finds it for his interest to
On the other hand, things which derive their power labour exclusively at one kind of production. Thus we to gratify our desires from human labour, and which see that every man has his own trade or profession. are found only in particular places, have always ex. But a man wants a great many other things besides changeable value. This is the case with articles of those which he produces himself. The shoemaker profood, clothing, metals, minerals, &c.
duces shoes; but he cannot eat, or drink, or clothe him. The reason why these latter have exchangeable value self with shoes. Hence he must exchange his shocs for is evident. If I, by my labour, give value to something those articles which he needs. Every other man is in which had no value before, I have a right to the thing the condition of the shoemaker. And hence we see in which this value resides. And inasmuch as I have that an immense amount of exchanges must be made bestowed my labour upon it, I will not part with it for every day in every civilised community. nothing. Hence if any one wants it, he must offer me Distribution.--Not only does every man work at a in exchange soinething on which he has bestowed a particular trade--it is commonly the case that a great similar amount of labour, or else something which I inany men must labour together in order to create a could not otherwise procure without bestowing upon particular product. Every penknife, nay, every pin, it an equal or a greater amount of labour. Thus if I goes through the hands of several workmen, and rehave spent an hour in catching a fish, I will not give it ceives a portion of its value from every one of them. to my neighbour for nothing, or for air, or sunlight, When the product has been created, every one is enwhich I can have for nothing. I will only give it for titled to his share of it. The principles by which this something which I could not procure with less than an division of the profits is made, is called by political hour's labour. And if he offer me something which I econonnists distribution. could procure with half an hour's labour, I shall not Consumption. --- Every product, after it has been exchange, but shall prefer to procure for myself the created, is put to some purpose. Sometimes it is used article which he offers me.
for the creation of some other product—as wheat, when And hence we see that when men exchange the pro- it has been raised, is used for the purpose of making ducts which they have procured with each other, they flour; or again, it may be used for the simple purpose exchange labour for labour. Thus when men exchange of satisfying human desire-as bread, when it is eaten, silver for gold, they give a much larger amount of silver is used to appease our hunger. The destruction of than of gold, because it requires much more labour to values in this manner is called consumption. procure gold than it does to procure silver. Again, they The whole subject of Political Economy may theregive a much larger amount of iron in exchange than of fore be comprehended under these four divisions-Prosilver, because the labour of procuring silver is much duction, Exchange, Distribution, and Consumption. greater than the labour of procuring iron. And hence we see that when men exchange with
I. PRODUCTION. each other, the exchangeable value of anything will be, in general, as the labour which it costs to procure it. Production has already been defined as the act by Hence the cost of anything, or its natural price, is the which we confer upon any object a value which it did labour which is necessary to produce it.
not possess before; or it is the application of labour to This, however, is liable to accidental and temporary capital for the creation of a product. fluctuation. Sometimes much larger quantity of a given product is created than is wanted. In this case the owner, in order to induce persons to buy, will offer Capital is the material which is to be united with it at a less price than the cost, because he had rather industry for the creation of a product, or the instru, No. 81.
ments which are used in the act of production, or the / which
in this country over those enjoyed by necessaries and conveniences by which the health of the the aborigines who long ago occupied it, are owing en labourer is sustained. Sometimes the labourer finds tirely to the amount of fixed capital which covers the the material in its native state, as the miner finds the soil. It is thus that the results of the industry of inen ore or the coal in its native bed; most commonly, are transmitted to their posterity, and that the men of however, he receives it from another individual, who any one age are enabled to reap advantage from the has already conferred upon it some value, and it is his skill,
industry, and good conduct of the men of all ages occupation to confer upon it additional worth.
who have gone before them. The forms of capital are as various as the different occupations of men. The material of the farmer is seed, manure, animals, &c.; that of the manufacturer, cotton,
of the Nature and the different kinds of Human Industry. wool, iron, leather, &c.; and that of the merchant, the various substances in which he traffics.
Industry is human exertion of any kind employed The instruments with which these producers labour for the creation of value. are very various. The farmer uses ploughs, harrows, If we consider the different kinds of value which it and carts; the manufacturer, saws, hammers, and spin- is in the power of man to create, we shall see that ning and weaving machines ; and the merchant, ships, human industry may be employed in three different boats, locomotives, and the like.
ways. Matter may be changed in its elementary form, Besides these, all men require for their sustenance as it is by the farmer when he plants seed and reaps food, clothing, shelter, and the various conveniences of an increase; or in its aggregate form, as when a carlife.' Viewed in this light, all capital may be included penter fashions a piece of furniture out of a log; or in under one or the other of the following classes:- its place, as when a sailor carries it from one country
Changes of Capital.-Inasmuch as the labour of men to another. The ultimate design of all human industry is so universally employed in changing capital having employed in production is to effect either one of the one form of value to capital having another form of other of these results. They are frequently, for the sake value, capital must be incessantly undergoing changes. of distinction, denominated agricultural, manufactur. It is no matter how many changes it undergoes, if its ing, and commercial industry. value be at every stage sufficiently increased to pay for It is evident that every one of these kinds of labour the labour which it cost to effect the change.
is absolutely necessary, in order to promote the conteIncrease of Capital.- If a given material undergo a nience and happiness of man; and also that neither change by which its value is increased, then there is an one could prosper without the aid of the others. Were increase of capital equal to the difference between its there no agricultural labour, everybody would starte. former and its present value. I say equal to the dif- Were there no manufacturing labour, everybody would ference; because, in the creation of one value, another be chilled to death. Were there no labour employed in value is always destroyed, and we are benefited, there transporting commodities from place to place, no one fore, only by the superior amount of value which we could enjoy any convenience except what he bad propossess over that which we have consumed to produce duced himself—that is, though with great industry and
Thus the farmer consumes seed, manure, labour, suffering a few persons might live, yet they would be but sustenance, in the production of a crop. He has changed few, and these few would be miserably poor. Hence we one kind of capital for another, and he is enriched just may see how unwise it is for any jealousy to exist be. by as much as his crop is of greater value than all that tween the farmer, the mechanic, and the merchant it cost him to produce it.
All are equally necessary to each one, and each one is Capital which is undergoing change by which its necessary to both the others. value is increased, or which is yielding an annual in- But some men are neither mechanics, nor farmers, come, is called productive capital. That which is lying nor merchants; they are students, or philosophers
, or idle, and neither producing anything nor increasing in lawyers, or physicians, or clergymen. All of these value, is called unproductive capital.
men, however, are necessary to society in ways that Money forms a small, but very important part of the must be generally obvious, and are as well entitled to capital of all civilised nations. The use of money is to their rewards as any other useful class. enable us the more easily to make exchanges with each other. That it forms but a small part of the capital of Of the Increase of the Productiveness of Human Industry a country is evident from the fact, that a very small
by the means of Natural Agents. part of the wealth of any individual consists of money. By the productiveness of human industry we mean What is true of the separate individuals of a commu- the amount of product which a human being in a given nity must be true of the community collectively. time can create. Thus if a farmer by one day's labour
Fixed and Circulating Capital.-That capital from can raise one bushel of wheat, the productiveness of his which the owner derives profit by changing its form or labour is equal to one bushel; if he can, with the same place, is called circulating capital; while the various labour, raise two bushels, the productiveness of his instruments which he uses to produce this change, and labour is equal to two bushels. If a cotton-spinner can from the use of which he derives profit, are fixed spin one pound of cotton in a day, this is the amount of capital. Thus the wheat and the manures of the farmer, the productiveness of his labour; if he can spin tei the wool and raw cotton of the manufacturer, are their pounds, this is the amount of it. circulating capital; the ploughs, harrows, barn, and Now it is evident that the greater the productiveland of the one, the machinery and buildings of the ness of labour, the better is it for the industrious person other, are their respective fixed capitals.
and for all his neighbours. Every one knows that it There is a constant tendency in a prosperous condi- is better for a farmer to own rich than to own poor tion of society to change circulating into fixed capital. land, because with a year's labour on the one he can The farmer sells his wheat, and with the produce buys obtain a much larger crop than on the other. It is, more land and better tools, or erects better fences and moreover, better for him that his neighbours also barns. The manufacturer, with his profits of this year, should have rich than poor land, because the richer enlarges his manufactory; and thus, in the progress of their land, the larger quantity of their products will society, vast sums are annually invested in roads, canals, they be able to give him in exchange for his products. manufactories, and various means of improvement. The great difference, therefore, between rich and poor
The beneficial result of this tendency is easily seen. land is, that rich land renders industry more productive Fixed capital is but slowly consumed, hence the wealth than poor land. of each generation is transmitted to the next; and, The case is the same with the other modes of industry. year after year, a country becomes better and better He who spins with his fingers without any machine provided with the
means for furnishing itself with all labours very unproductively—that is, in a day be can the conveniences of life. The superior conveniences create but a small product : he who labours with a
spinning-wheel, labours much more productively—that portant and familiar of these are gunpowder, wind, is, with a day's labour he can create a much larger falling water, and steam. amount of product : and he who uses a still better Gunpowder is used in war, in hunting, and in the machine, called a spinning-jenny, labours yet more pro- blasting of rocks. For the latter purpose it is very ductively—that is, in a day he can create twenty or a valuable in the construction of canals, railways, &c. hundred times as much product as he could with a Wind is used as a stationary agent in the common spinning-wheel. In every case, as the productiveness windmill; and as a locomotive agent in the propelling of labour increases, both the labourer and the commu- of vessels on the water. It is cheap, and for some nity are benefited, just as a farmer would be benefited purposes very valuable. by exchanging a poor soil for a rich one. In both cases Falling water is used very extensively as a stationary the benefit is the same—that is, with a given amount agent in almost all works where great power is required. of labour he creates a larger amount of product, he Almost all our nails are made, our wheat is ground, receives better wages for his labour, and at the same and much of our cotton is spun and woven by water. time the community obtains his product at a cheaper Steam, however, is now used the most extensively for rate. Hence it is that mankind have been, from the the various purposes of the arts, as it possesses many earliest ages, endeavouring to invent means by which advantages over every other agent. It is capable of the productiveness of human labour may be increased. exerting any degree of force, from the least to the And the condition of mankind is improved, from time greatest; it may be used as a stationary or a locomotive to time, just in proportion as these endeavours have power; it may be used on land or on water, and it may been made successfully. Every one knows how much be placed perfectly under human control. Its only disthe comforts of an industrious mechanic in this coun- advantage is its expensiveness. Steam is now used to try exceed those of an uncivilised Indian ; and the spin the finest thread and the stoutest cable, to weave difference is owing to the fact, that the labour of the muslins and to hammer anchors, to propel the largest one is so much more productive than that of the other. vessels on our rivers and on the ocean, to draw our
Now there are two ways in which the productive-carriages, to saw and plane our boards, and in fact to ness of human industry may be increased : these are, accomplish almost all the purposes which require either first, the use of natural agents; and, secondly, division great or unremitted force (See No. 25, Vol. i.). of labour. Let us explain :
Inanimate agents are in general preferable to ani
mate agents in most of the purposes for which power Use of Natural Agents.
is required. The reason of this will be readily comA natural agent is, as its name imports, an agent of prehended. For instancenature, or any quality of things which we are able to use 1. They are cheaper. A steam-engine of a hundred in order to accomplish our purposes. Thus it is of the horse-power will cost less than the horses necessary to nature of wood, when set on fire, to give off heat, and do the labour which it performs, and will cost much heat is the natural agent which we use for the purpose less to keep it at work. of cooking our food. It is of the nature of steam, when 2. They labour without cessation, while animals reheated, to expand, and when suddenly cooled, to con-quire much time for rest and refreshment. tract; hence steam is the natural agent by whose al- 3. They are safer. They have no passions, and hence ternate expansion and contraction we create the force may be governed by fixed and certain laws. A steam which we need to propel boats or machinery. So it is locomotive, for example, is neither liable to run away of the nature of water, when falling down from an ele- nor be frightened. vation, to acquire a very considerable force; this force 4. We can use them without the infliction of pain, is the natural agent which we use to turn the wheel of while animals frequently, of necessity, suffer in consea mill. So the peculiar quality of the magnet is a quence of hard labour or rapid driving. natural agent. The various qualities of medicinal 5. They are capable of much more rapid action, hence herbs are also natural agents, though used for a diffe- there is a great economy of human time. rent purpose from those mentioned above.
But this is not all. Men are able not only by the A tool or a machine is any instrument by which we above means to create force, they are also able to de. are enabled to avail ourselves of the qualities of natural vise machines by which the force thus created may be agents. Thus an axe is an instrument by means of applied. Thus after a steam-boiler and cylinder have which we make use of the cutting power of iron. A been constructed, we are able to create a force by means steam-engine is an instrument by which we make use of steam; but we still need levers, and wheels, and of the expansive and contractile quality of steam. cranks, in order to enable us to use it. When we have
In political economy, the principal use of natural trained horses to draw, we still need wagons to enable agents is either to create or to use power or force, or, them to draw with. All these machines, by which force as we sometimes call it, momentum. Thus if a man is directed, are the various modifications of what are wishes to row a boat, or chop wood with an axe, he called in philosophy the mechanical powers. And by must have strength or power with which to do it. The means of them we are enabled to wield the force which more strength or power he has, the more work he can we have created in any manner that we choose. do. Thus a man can do more work than a boy because Besides these agents for the creation of force, there he has more strength, or power, or force, to do it with. are various other qualities of things which are of very Now natural agents are capable of exerting this power, great use in the purposes of human life. Thus, for inand by means of machinery we can direct the manner stance, some of the metals, when heated, readily melt; in which it shall be exerted.
and if in this state they are poured into a mould, they The natural agents which we use for this purpose are retain the shape of the mould with perfect precision. of two kinds, animate and inanimate :
In this manner much human labour is saved, or a given Animate natural agents are beasts of burthen and amount of labour is rendered much more productive. draught—as the ox, the horse, the ass, the camel, the Were it not for this quality of type-metal, every type elephant, and other animals similarly employed. must be cut by the hand. This would render types and
That these very greatly increase the productiveness books very expensive. But now we have only to cut a of human labour is evident. Every one knows how mould into the form that we wish, and if the melted much more land a farmer can cultivate by means of a metal be poured into it, the type is formed, by cooling, pair of horses than he could by his own unassisted into the precisely corresponding figure. In this manner strength, and how much more wheat a man can trans- a single workman can make several hundred types in port from one place to another with a wagon and horse an hour. There are various other qualities of things than he could carry on his back.
which we use in a similar manner, but their number is The inanimate natural agents are, as we have said, so great that we have no room here to describe them. the various qualities and powers of things by which we By reflection, every person may easily furnish himself are enabled to accomplish our purposes. The most im- with as many examples as he pleases.
only occasionally makes nails, may make about 800 or Division of Labour.
1000 in a day; while a boy who has never done anyIn the preceding sections we have seen that the pro- thing else, will make upwards of 2300 in a day. ductiveness of human labour may be greatly increased, 4. Division of labour suggests the invention of tools first, by discovering the various qualities of things, or, and machines, by which labour may be rendered still specially, those qualities by which we are capable of more productive. As soon as an operation is analysed creating force; and, secondly, by those various contriv. into its simple processes, it is comparatively easy to ances by which the force thus created may be success contrive some way in which to perform either one or fully directed and applied. We have one other source all of these processes by a machine. It would have of increased productiveness yet to consider—it is divi- required great skill to construct a machine for making sion of labour-and its results are in many cases as nails before the process was analysed; but let it be striking as any that have been noticed.
divided into rolling, cutting, and heading, and it is Division of labour, in general, means employing one comparatively easy to construct instruments by which individual upon one kind of labour, instead of employ- each of these processes may be accomplished. ing the same individual upon several kinds of labour. 5. There is great diversity in the talent required for If we reflect, we shall see that this circumstance forms performing the various parts of a process. Some parts one of the leading distinctions between savage and of the operation require great dexterity, and a long civilised nations. A savage does for himself whatever course of education; others can be performed by women
, he requires to have done. He is his own philosopher, and even by children, with very little training. Sonne inventor, and operative; his own farmer, butcher, baker, parts may require labour worth four or five shillings
, shoemaker, tailor, carpenter, &c. And the result is, while others can be executed by labour worth no more that he is ignorant, hungry, shelterless, almost naked; than a few pence per day. Now without division of and that he continues age after age without making labour, all the processes must be performed by labour any sensible improvement. On the contrary, civilised at the highest price. By judicious division of labour, men divide these various occupations, so that one man the manufacturer can employ just the amount and just labours wholly in one, and another man labours wholly the kind of labour that he needs. This greatly reduces in another employment; and the result is, that civi. the cost of production. lised men, without labouring more than savages, easily The effect of all this is seen in the very low price at obtain convenient shelter, clothing, food, and all the which almost all the articles of general use may be necessaries of life.
obtajned. For instance, suppose a lady in New York But still more. Every one who observes any mecha- wanted a dozen needles, and applied to a jeweller or nical process, observes that it consists of several parts. other workman to have them made for her, she could For instance, in order to make a knife, the blade must not obtain them at much less than a shilling a piece. be formed and then polished, the handle must be formed But needles are imported into that city from a British in several pieces, the rivets must be made to connect manufacturing town, and sold at about four for a halfthese several pieces together; and after these several penny of our money, notwithstanding all the cost of pieces have been formed and prepared for each other, transportation; and this entirely through the advantage they must be united together into a knife. Now what derived from the division of labour. is commonly called division of labour in political eco- 1. But to this division of labour there is a natural nomy, consists in so apportioning this work that one limit. This limit depends upon several circumstances. person shall labour at only one part of any process. For instance, a given process consists of no more than
The division of labour in this manner is found to a certain number of operations. When it has been have a much greater effect upon the productiveness of divided into as many parts as there are distinct prohuman industry than could possibly have been sup- cesses, and one part is assigned to each individual, this posed. Every man who labours at a trade adopts this is as far as division of labour can go. There would be plan in part. If a cabinet-inaker, for example, have a no economy in any farther division. dozen tables to make, he will make all the legs of all 2. Again, the practicability of division of labour dethe tables at once, then all the covers, &c. and when pends upon the capital of an individual or of a coun. all have been prepared, he will put them all together. I try. A man must have accumulated some considerable And if several men were to unite and make nothing amount of capital before he can carry on division of but tables, and each one perform but one part of the labour in any occupation. For instance, suppose that labour, they could make a great many more tables in the division requires the labour of ten men, he must a given time than if each one made a whole table. have materials and tools sufficient to employ ten hands.
The principal reasons for this increased productive-Nor is this all: suppose that it take ten days to finish ness are as follow:
his product, he must have material sufficient to employ 1. It saves the loss of time and skill, which must re. them during all this time before he receives anything sult froin frequently passing from one occupation to in return for that product. And if it take a fortnight another. After a man has laboured for some time at more before he is able to sell his goods and obtain a one thing, he is said to have “ got his hand in, and he fresh stock of material, he must have a capital suffiperforms the operation with ease and skill. If he turns cient to employ them during this time also. It is for to a different occupation, his hand is out,' and he this reason that manufactures do not commence with cannot perform it so well. Hence all the time con- the first settlement of a country, but they must always sumed in acquiring the habit is lost.
be delayed until capital accumulates before they can 2. When a variety of operations is to be performed be successfully established. by the same individual, he must frequently adjust his 3. Division of labour can only be carried on where tools, or pass from the use of one kind of tools to the there is sufficient demand for a product to consume it use of another. This occasions a great waste of time. as fast as it is manufactured. If it would take ten men By performing the same operation continuously, the to manufacture pins by division of labour, but only so same tools with the same adjustment will answer the many pins could be sold as could be made by one man, same purpose perpetually. This is specially the case the labour could not be divided. This, however, dewhere the adjustment of tools requires not only time pends upon sereral other circumstances. For instance, but expense, as, for instance, in the use of the black the demand depends upon the number and the realth smith's furnace. If the smith heat it, and leave it for of a community. There is a larger demand for hais the purpose of doing some other work, all the fuel con- in a town of ten thousand inhabitants than in a village sumed after he leaves it, as well as that necessary to of one hundred inhabitants. There is also a greater bring it again to its proper temperature, is lost. demand for hats among a thousand rich men than
3. When men confine themselves to a single opera- among a thousand beggars. This is another reason why tion, they acquire a degree of dexterity and skill which division of labour and manufactures naturally increase could be acquired in no other manner. A man who with the growth, and age, and wealth of any country,
And hence we see why roads, canals, and railways strate that such has always been the result. The are so beneficial to the industry of a country. By re- labour of the Western Indian or the Eastern Hindoo ducing the cost of transportation, they render the price is without machinery and without division, and it is of any commodity as low at one hundred miles distance of course very unproductive. Hence he is very poor. as it frequently was before at ten miles distance from The whole wealth of the Indian is a blanket and a the place of its manufacture. Hence facility of trans- bow and arrows, and the whole wealth of a Hindoo is port increases the number of consumers, and by thus a pot of rice and a cotton cloth. How different is the increasing the demand, renders practicable the division condition of the labourer in this country ! of labour in cases where before it was impracticable. And we also see that it is not beneficial merely for
Again, it is evident that demand inust be greatly one individual to increase the productiveness of his affected by the cost of the article manufactured. Costly labour; it is beneficial to the whole community that articles are purchased only by the rich. But the rich the sum-total of industry should be as productive as are only a sinall part of the community. Hence the possible. Would it not be a benefit if the crops of corn, demand for such articles is but small. It is those and wheat, and cotton, and rice, the products of the articles which every one wants, and which every one can fisheries, of the mines, and of the manufactories, during buy, that create such a demand as will enable them the next year, should with the same labour be doubled, to be made at the cheapest possible rate. Hence we so that we might by a day's labour procure twice as see that division of labour, and the reduction of price much bread-stuffs, fuel, clothing, and every necessary which it occasions, benefits the poor much more than it and comfort of life, as we are able to procure at present? does the rich. I do not suppose that jewellery, trinkets, Now the whole effect of the increased productiveness of rich laces, are much, if at all, cheaper than they were labour, by means of machinery and of division of labour, twenty or thirty years ago; while cotton cloth, hard-is to bring about precisely such a result. ware, woollen goods, and all the manufactured neces- And yet more—the benefit of this change is specially saries of life, have fallen in price from one-half to three realised by the labouring-classes. A nobleman in Great fourths. This is an immense benefit to those of us who Britain is by no means as much better off than his are obliged to spend our money for necessaries and ancestor, as a common labourer in England now is comforts, and have none to spend for trinkets.
better off than a serf at the period of the feudal oppres
sion and ignorance. The rich and powerful in all counor the Benefits of Increased Productiveness of Labour.
tries always have an abundance of comforts and luxuries. The prime object of labour, as every one knows, is to Comparatively, they are but slightly benefited by improcure the means of happiness. A farmer labours to provement in the productiveness of labour. It is the produce wheat, rye, fruits, &c.; a cotton manufacturer labourer who is chiefly benefited, because every imto produce clothing, and a shoemaker to produce shoes, i provement brings within his power some convenience and so of any other case.
which was before out of his reach. What difference Now the greater the productiveness of labour, the does it make to a man worth a hundred thousand greater are the means of happiness which the individual a year whether coal costs one or five pounds a ton, and by a given amount of labour produces. If a farmer cotton cloth fourpence or two shillings a yard? At expend a year's labour upon a rich soil, his labour is either price he would be able to procure an abundance. more productive than if he expended it upon a poor But to the man who is worth but fifty or a hundred soil; that is, with the same labour, he produces in one pounds a year, the difference of price is a matter of case say five hundred bushels of wheat, and in the immense consequence; inasmuch as at one price he other case only two hundred bushels. Every one must would be able to supply himself abundantly, and at see that this is an advantage; and every one would the other price he would be able to supply himself rather own one hundred acres of good soil than one but very scantily, if he were able, indeed, to supply hundred acres of poor soil.
himself at all. Hence we affirm that improvements Now if a poor soil can, by means of manure, or in in machinery, by which the productiveness of labour any other manner, be changed into a fertile one, the is increased, are specially for the benefit of those classes result is the same as if, by means of improved tools, a who are obli to work for their living. farmer were able by one day's labour to produce twice The only objection to all this is, that by increasing as much as he could produce before.
the productiveness of labour we diminish the demand Now this principle applies just as much to a manu- for labour, and that hence labourers are thrown out of facturer or any other labourer as to a farmer. Sup- employment. This deserves a brief consideration, inaspose a carpenter, when he first commences learning his much as it has led not only to erroneous views in theory, trade, could not make more than one table in a week, but to practical wickedness in action. his labour would be very unproductive. As he becomes To settle this question, let us examine the facts. more and more skilful, he can make a table in less What are the manufactures which now employ the time; and at last, when he can make a table in a day, greatest number of workmen, and in which the numhis labour is six times as productive as it was before, ber of workmen has within the last twenty years the and he has the means of procuring for himself six times most rapidly increased? I think that any one will as many comforts with the same amount of labour. answer, the cotton and the iron manufactures. But if Further, if he be able, by means of a turning-lathe, or we were asked in which branches of manufactures has a steam-engine, or by division of labour, to make two labour-saving machinery been most extensively introtables a day, his labour will be still more productive, duced? we must also answer, the cotton and the iron and he will be able to procure for hin self a corre- manufactures. Or we may come to the same result if sponding greater amount of conveniences.
we compare the linen with the cotton manufacture. So if men spun by hand and wove by hand, were this Machinery has been introduced only in a small degree possible, a man could produce but very little thread into the manufacture of the one, and very extensively and very little cloth. His labour would be in the lowest introduced into that of the other. The consequence is, degree unproductive. But if he invent a spinning-wheel that the labourers in linen are very poorly paid, and and a loom, his labour becomes at once vastly more are diminishing in number, while the labourers in cotvaluable, and he can produce ten or twenty times as ton are well paid, and are every year rapidly increasing. much as he could before, and he is able to provide him. These facts are abundantly sufficient to teach any perself with a much greater portion of the necessaries and son what is the natural result of the use of machinery. comforts of life. If now we furnish him with a spin- The reason of this is easily seen. Suppose that only ning-jenny and a power-loom, his labour will be still 10,000 yards of cotton could be used in a given district, more productive; and as he creates, with a given amount and it required 100 men to make them. If thesc 10,000 of labour, a greater amount of the means of happiness, yards could be made by 50 men, it is evident that 50 a larger portion will fall to his own share--that is, men would be thrown out of work. But suppose that he will be both richer and happier. And facts dcmon- by this change in the mode of labour, the cotton cloth