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a surplus unexchangeable, lying on the hands of the laborer, is not, in any sense, profit or gain. It is, moreover, necessary that the process of exchange should not be too difficult; that is to say that there should be a market within reach, or there will be no profit.
If the market is remote and uncertain, the surplus will not yield as large and certain a profit, as when the market is near at hand and sure; and thus will rise a second profit, or rather share of profit, to be reaped by a second class of laborers, whose business it is to convey these surpluses from point to point, and to make the means of communication certain and easy between the producer and the market. The business of exchanging and conveying the surpluses of the first class of laborers, constitutes trade and commercecommerce between nations, managed by ship owners, commission merchants, importers and exporters, and secondarily, by railroad companies, and all other capitalists engaged in facilitating and cheapening the means of inter-communication.
Now, as it is evident, that this second class of laborers produce nothing, there must ensue, in order to their support, a division of profit, or rather of the surplus products, between themselves and the original producers; and, other things being equal, the original producer is a loser by the exact amount of their gain.
The object of the producer will therefore be to become, as far as possible, himself the conveyer of his own surpluses, in order that the entire profit may come to himself and his family. The farmer who sends vegetables to market, sends his son. with them instead of any hired person, in order that the profit of transportation may come to himself and family.
If we now think upon our people as one family and is it not just and patriotic to think so?-We very naturally desire that the carriage, the trade and commerce of our surpluses, may fall into the hands of our own friends and fellow citizens, in order that the nation, as one family, may both the first and second profits of labor; the profits of production and the profits of transportation.
From the mine to the furnace, from the stack and the press house, to the factory, may be a long distance; it may be half
the circuit of the world, and it may be a stone's throw. If the distance be a short one, the farmer himself becomes the conveyer of his products, and whatever small profit is in that way to be gained, falls into his purse; but the profit of transportation being in proportion to the distance, the dangers and the difficulties to be overcome on the way, it will be the earnest desire of the miner, the farmer and the planter, to have the furnace and the factory as near to them as possible, in order to save to themselves, the second profits of industry, the profits of transportation; or of trade and com
When the iron is brought to the forge and the rolling mill, and passes through the various processes of steel making, and is then converted into instruments of utility-into ploughs, knives, scythes, &c., a third profit accrues, the profit of manufacture.
The processes for converting a lump of ore into a scythe or a razor, are very numerous. Let us suppose that for this pose, a lump of ore, mined in Pennsylvania, is carried to New Jersey, and there converted into cast iron; that thence it is taken to some foreign country, to England, perhaps, and the cast iron converted into steel; let the steel, in bars, be taken to Damascus, and there converted into sword blades; let the sword blades be taken to Marseilles, and sold at wholesale. From Marseilles let them be taken to London again, and sold to an American merchant; let the American merchant bring the sword blades to New York, where they shall be furnished with scabbards and mounted in a style to please an American fancy; let them then, or let one of them, be sold by a pedler at an enormous price to the original producer of the lump of ore in Pennsylvania, and let the cunning salesman, a free trader, describe in glowing language to the astonished miner, the numerous transformations, the many and perilous voyages, and the strange countries and strange hands through which his lump of ore had passed before it came to him, a glittering Damascus blade; what visions of commercial prosperity, and of the glory and enterprise of his nation would float before the imagination of the miner! with what confidence would he not at the next election, vote for the free trade candidate!
The miner, a man of some consequence in his country, is a militia captain of horse guards, and has paid sixty dollars for a sabre; the profits on the ore from which that sabre was made, were precisely two shillings to himself, and three to the man who carried it to the forge; a small additional profit was reaped from it by the exporting merchant; it was conveyed away in a foreign vessel, worth perhaps eight shillings at the moment of its leaving the country; the remaining fifty nine dollars were fixed upon it by the navigators and the workmen of foreign countries.
In that particular instance, although we cannot say with perfect truth, that the production of the original lump of ore instead of profiting the miner two shillings actually cost him fifty-nine dollars and six shillings, yet we can say that had the ore been converted into iron, the iron into steel, and the steel into sword blades, by practised artisans working under the direction of the miner himself, the profits of all these processes, would have fallen in very large proportion to himself and his workmen, avoiding too, the costs of transportation of the heavy material, by five long voyages from place to place, describing great circles of the sphere. upon the surface of the rounded globe.
Let us now suppose, farther, that not only the third profit, or of manufacture, the first profit, or of production, and the second profit, or of conveyance, (trade and commerce,) but also the profit of agriculture, in the feeding of the workmen engaged in all these processes, and the profit of cloth manufacture, in clothing the same, and the second profit of both of these, and the third of both of these-that all these nine different profits, together concentrated in the exquisitely modelled utensil of steel, made serviceable for the scabbard of the Turk, were together and jointly retained by the industry of a single village in the state of Pennsylvania, and that this too, was wholly a surplus of industry, over and above the labor necessary for the maintainance of the village, would not that community thrive, which, retaining to itself the right of imparting all values to commodities of steel, food and clothing, left nothing to be done by others, but turn
ed the bounties of the soil to their very last account, and striking out of their list of expenses the accumulated losses of transportation and commerce, would not that community, concentrating its energies and its intelligence, reap for itself, after a time, a profit fully equivalent, far more than equivalent to the labor expended?
Other things being equal, such would undoubtedly be the fact but now what is the condition of that village? Without capital, they cannot build the mills and furnaces: the foreign capitalist has the mills and furnaces already built, and the village must content itself with a single profit, and that a contingent profit, namely, the first profit on the production of food, transported across the ocean to feed the laborers who work in the mills and factories of the foreign capitalist--the English capitalist, who has built the furnace near the mine and the coal field; who has but a little way to send his iron to be converted into steel; whose brother, perhaps converts the steel into ploughshares and scythé blades; whose cousin perhaps, transports these ploughshares and scythe blades across the water, to be sold there to the first producer of the food; whose nephew, a wealthy agriculturist, is able, in England itself, to keep down the price of that food, and to enhance the value of the scythes and ploughshares by the skilful management of farms, so that, in times of plenty, that very first profit is reduced to nothing for him who sits in his log-house, on a rough hill-side in Pennsylvania, reading the costly page of the Free Trade Union newspaper-the organ of that party which has wrested from him, his neighbors and his children, half the profits of production, all the profits of transportation, all the profits of manufacture, all the profits of mining, all the profits on the supply of coal, all the profits on the supply of cloth, and all the profits of that foreign capital which, vainly seeking investment in England, would flow in upon his village, were he justly protected by the laws, to build up there the mills and the factories, which are necessary to enable him, his neighbors and his children after him, to reap all the profits of Industry.
TRADE, COMMERCE, NAVIGATION, AND TRANSPORTATION.
UNDER the head of Trade, Commerce, and Transportation is included every species of exchange of products of the surpluses of industry. Trade, as the generic term, includes all kind of barter and exchange in lesser as well as in larger transactions: commerce, the intercourse of trade between nations, or between states, or between remote parts of the same nation: navigation, the general system of means by rivers, lakes, harbors, and the open seas, of the transportation by water, for the purposes of commerce: transportation, on the other hand, includes every method of conveyance by land and sea.
It has been sometimes claimed by political economists that the conveyance of goods from place to place for the purposes of commerce, confers a certain value upon them; that a loaf of bread, for example, is worth more, delivered in the kitchen, than it is at the mouth of the bakery; but if it were true, that transportation in itself considered conferred value upon articles, an indefinite amount of value might be communicated to a loaf of bread by transporting it several times through the city before presenting it at the door of the kitchen.
The actual value of a loaf of bread is to be measured by its importance in sustaining life, by its quantity, quality, and durability, applied to that purpose. It is less valuable as it is more perishable when compared with other kinds of food equally nutritious and less perishable. It has a value as food merely, taken together with all other kinds of sustenance; and a relative value, as bread, compared with other kinds of food. But the value of a commodity is actually diminished, and not increased by transportation: and the reason is, that the agent employed in transporting it, derives subsistence from it. The baker would sell bread cheaper to his customers if they all lived at his door. All the value lying in the bread itself, measured by its power of sustaining life, has to be divided between three persons, the baker who produces it, the pur
chaser who is to use it, and the carrier who conveys it; whereas if there were no carrier, the same amount of value, represented by the loaf, would be divided between two persons instead of among three: thus, for example, the baker charges for his loaf twelve cents, two of which are given by him to the carrier for the conveyance of the bread: one half of this loss falls himself, the other half upon his customer. The actual value of the loaf, including a just profit to himself, is eleven cents, he, however, paying one cent to the carrier, and charging the customer one cent for the same, is a loser to the same amount with his customer. The loss, in this particular instance, is divided between the producer and consumer; had there been no necessity for carriage, the baker would have charged eleven cents for the loaf instead of twelve, the customer would have been saved a loss of one cent to the carrier, and the baker would have been saved the loss of one cent to the same. The additional one cent, paid as the value of the bread by the customer, is not a value communicated to the bread, but is simply a loss to the consumer, as the other cent is a loss to the producer.
In the instance cited, the loss was divided between the consumer and the producer: it sometimes, however, falls wholly upon the consumer, and sometimes wholly on the producer, according to the circumstances and necessities of trade; if we take however the entire system of commerce, trade, and transportation, both by land and water, it may be said without fear of contradiction that as every man is by turns a producer and consumer, losses by transportation are equally distributed over the entire community.
Whatever may be argued in favor of the moral advantages of commerce, it is nevertheless demonstrable that the entire profits of commerce are a division of loss between producer and consumer, and that all that is saved in transportation, by the improve
ments in navigation, and by canals, turnpikes, and railroads, is a diminution of loss both to producer and consumer.
We consider it, therefore, to be a false and mischeivous maxim in political economy, that transportation adds to the value of a product, and that therefore commerce and transportation are in themselves advantageous. On the contrary, it is the duty of the economist to look upon them as obstructions of so formidable a character, and involving such an enormous waste of life and energy, as to make their diminution and facilitation the first object of private enterprise and legislative enactment.
This object is to be accomplished in two different ways; 1st, by bringing the furnace and smith-shop as near as possible to the mine; and the anvil and the loom as near as possible to the plough; and, 2d, when they are brought as near together as nature and circumstances will permit, to facilitate communication between them by the cheapest, safest, and freest modes of inter-communication.
As the object of the political economist is to give the labor of man a right direction, and to make it yield the greatest possible return, and by no means to stir up an aimless and wasteful commercial activity, he will look upon what are called the interests of commerce and trade with a jealous eye, keeping guard lest the carrier employ himself in the unnatural and unjust enlargement of his function, absorbing more than his due share of the surpluses of industry. Strictly speaking, the most odious and injurious of all monopolies are those which complicate, and render difficult and expensive, the commercial intercourse between cities of the same nation.
The loss on the transportation of raw materials to the manufacturer, being far greater than the loss by the transportation of manufactured articles, it is a necessary point of national, as it is of private economy, that the product of the field and the mine should not have to be conveyed over long distances, by land and sea, to reach the places where they are to be wrought up. It may be safely conjectured, in the absence of exact statistical proof, that the losses and expenses of transportation of the raw material fall, in great part, upon the producers.
The producer of cotton depends entirely
upon the sale of cotton, not only for the return of his labor and capital invested, but for his surplus or profit. Now as it is a much easier process to extend the production of the raw material, and to overflow the market with a particular agricultural commodity, such as cotton, than it is to overstock the market of the world with manufactures, the cotton planter lies, in a great measure, at the mercy of the manufacterer.
The cotton planter has but one purchaser, namely, the manufacturer; and that one purchaser, with capital at his disposal, and the whole world for his market, is the absolute master of the planter, especially when the latter by over production, has lost the power of retention, and is obliged, at any cost, to throw his goods upon the market.
But this is not the only disadvantage suffered by the planter: the only profit which comes to him is the first profit of production on the raw material, and out of this must be deducted part of the loss by transportation. As freights fall, the price of cotton rises, and at the same time the price of manufactured articles, received in exchange for cotton, is diminished, but not in the same proportion. Equal weights of manufactured and of raw cotton, may pay equal freights, although one be a thousand times more valuable than the other; and where the manufacturer pays ten cents to have his goods borne across the water, the seller of the raw material will pay a hundred; for it is just as difficult and as expensive for the navigator to carry a bale of raw cotton, from New York to Liverpool, as to carry an equal weight of manufactured cotton from Liverpool to New York it is therefore absolutely certain that the disadvantage of a rise of freight to the planter, occasioning a fall in the price of cotton, is far greater than the simultaneous disadvantage of the same rise to the English manufacturer. If, therefore, it be true that the losses and expenses of transportation affect the producer more than the manufacturer, it is greatly for the interest of the producer to bring the manufacturer as near as possible to himself.
Let us take the cotton planters together as a community of interest, and consider the contingencies to which, as a body, they
are subjected by their dependence upon distant manufacturers.
The first of these contingencies, is in the liability to failure and stoppage of the manufacturers themselves, occasioning a perpetual fluctuation in the demand for raw material.
The second contingency, is that of over production by the planters; a contingency so well understood and so much feared, as to be a subject of consultation among public conventions of planters.
The third contingency, resulting from the dependence of the planters upon one set of manufacturers, is that of suffering by extortionate prices; a circumstance very familiar to them some thirty years since.
A fourth contingency, is that of being flooded, through the competition of foreign manufacturers themselves, with an excessive abundance of cheap and worthless manufactures; those of better quality not being to be had, for any reasonable price.
A fifth contingency, is that of being obliged sometimes, if not always, to pay the freightage both of the raw and the manufactured materials, through the private or legislative management of the foreigner.
The sixth contingency, and by no means a remote one, results from the general colonial dependence, into which producers of the raw material, in a remote and half civilized community, depending on the one profit of production for their wealth, and without manufacturing resources, must cessarily fall, producing, at once, a moral, an intellectual and a pecuniary subordina
The seventh contingency, is in the event of war; an embargo, or a blockade cutting
off their sole communication with the more civilized world.
The eighth contingency, is in the rivalry of other colonial dependencies producing the same kinds of raw material with themselves, as must eventually come pass in regard to the South; the greatest efforts being now made by England, to make herself and her Asiatic colonies independent of the American cotton growers.
The ninth contingency, is from the absence of an armed artisan population in time of war, to maintain a voluntary and efficient defence of the country.
The tenth contingency, is in the absence of capital,-the sinews of war ;-for the accumulation of capital by a colony dependent upon a single foreign market, and producing only one material-a material valueless until passed through machinery, is a thing unheard of and impossible. The planter extends his plantations, but he does not increase the ratio of his profits; these, on the contrary, diminish regularly as plantations extend; nor can that property be considered a safe or a desirable one, which enslaves its owner by a dependence upon so many and so formidable contingencies.
We have enumerated the disadvantages which attend the Southern system: equal and even far greater disadvantages, and affecting still more deeply the interests of the nation attend upon the system of the Northern free trade economists, which proposes to make the Northern corn-grower, like the Southern planter, dependent on the remote manufacturer. But the reader will not need to have the application of the principles detailed to him, after what has been already said in regard to the South.
CURRENCY, BALANCE OF TRADE.
Ir the entire currency of the world consisted of gold and silver coin, if its quantity were, on a sudden, increased two-fold, for every ounce of coin a second ounce being called into existence and put in circulation, there would be, as a consequence, a very considerable rise in the price of all purchaseable commodities. The abundance of coin would depreciate the value
of coin, and this depreciation would be the same with an apparent rise in the value of purchaseable commodities.
The value of the precious metals is given to them by their uses in chemistry, and in the arts. A few only are employed as currency: the others, known chiefly to chemists and manufacturers, viz., Rhodium, Iridium, Platinum and some others, have not