Page images



[ocr errors]

a surplus unexchangeable, lying on the the circuit of the world, and it may be a hands of the laborer, is not, in any sense, stone's throw. If the distance be a short profit or gain. It is, moreover, necessary one, the farmer himself becomes the conthat the process of exchange should veyer of his products, and whatever small not be too difficult; that is to say that profit is in that way to be gained, falls into there should be a market within reach, or his purse; but the profit of transportation there will be no profit.

being in proportion to the distance, the danIf the market is remote and uncertain, gers and the difficulties to be overcome on the the surplus will not yield as large and cer- way, it will be the earnest desire of the miner, tain a profit, as when the market is near at the farmer and the planter, to have the hand and sure ; and thus will rise a second furnace and the factory as near to them as profit, or rather share of profit, to be reap- possible, in order to save to themselves, ed by a second class of laborers, whose the second profits of industry, the profits business it is to convey these surpluses of transportation; or of trade and comfrom point to point, and to make the

of communication certain and When the iron is brought to the forge easy between the producer and the mar- and the rolling mill, and passes through ket. The business of exchanging and the various processes of steel making, and conveying the surpluses of the first class of is then converted into instruments of utililaborers, constitutes trade and commerce- ty-into ploughs, knives, scythes, &c., a commerce between nations, managed by third profit accrues, the profit of manuship owners, commission merchants, im- facture. porters and exporters, and secondarily, by The processes for converting a lump of railroad companies, and all other capital ore into a scythe or a razor, are very nuists engaged in facilitating and cheapening merous. Let us suppose that for this purthe means of inter-communication. pose, a lump of ore, mined in Pennsylva

Now, as it is evident, that this second nia, is carried to New Jersey, and there class of laborers produce nothing, there converted into cast iron ; that thence must ensue, in order to their support, a it is taken to some foreign country, to Engdivision of profit, or rather of the surplus land, perhaps, and the cast iron converted products, between themselves and the ori- into steel ; let the steel, in bars, be taken ginal producers ; and, other things being to Damascus, and there converted into equal, the original producer is a loser by sword blades; let the sword blades be takthe exact amount of their gain.

en to Marseilles, and sold at wholesale. The object of the producer will there- From Marseilles let them be taken to Lonfore be to become, as far as possible, him- don again, and sold to an American merself the conveyer of his own surpluses, in chant ; let the American merchant bring order that the entire profit may come to the sword blades to New York, where they himself and his family. The farmer who shall be furnished with scabbards and sends vegetables to market, sends his son mounted in a style to please an American with them instead of any hired person, in fancy; let them then, or let one of them, order that the profit of transportation may be sold by a pedler at an enormous price come to himself and family.

to the original producer of the lump of If we now think upon our people as one ore in Pennsylvania, and let the cunning family—and is it not just and patriotic salesman, a free trader, describe in glowto think so ?–We very naturally desire ing language to the astonished miner, the that the carriage, the trade and commerce numerous transformations, the many and of our surpluses, may fall into the hands of perilous voyages, and the strange countries our own friends and fellow citizens, in or- and strange hands through which his lump der that the nation, as one family, may of ore had passed before it came to him, a reap both the first and second profits of la- glittering Damascus blade ; what visions of bor; the profits of production and the pro- commercial prosperity, and of the glory fits of transportation.

and enterprise of his nation would float beFrom the mine to the furnace, from the fore the imagination of the miner! with - stack and the press house, to the factory, what confidence would he not at the next may be a long distance; it may be half election, vote for the free trade candidate!

The miner, a man of some consequence ed the bounties of the soil to their very in his country, is a militia captain of horse last account, and striking out of their list guards, and has paid sixty dollars for a sa- of expenses the accumulated losses of bre; the profits on the ore from which that transportation and commerce, would not sabre was made, were precisely two shil- | that community, concentrating its energies lings to himself, and three to the man who and its intelligence, reap for itself, after a carried it to the forge; a small additional time, a profit fully equivalent, far more profit was reaped from it by the exporting than equivalent to the labor expended ? merchant; it was conveyed away in a for- Other things being equal, such would eign vessel, worth perhaps eight shillings undoubtedly be the fact : but now what is at the moment of its leaving the country; the condition of that village? Without the remaining fifty nine dollars were capital, they cannot build the mills and fixed upon it by the navigators and furnaces: the foreign capitalist has the the workmen of foreign countries, mills and furnaces already built, and the

In that particular instance, although we village must content itself with a single cannot say with perfect truth, that the profit, and that a contingent profit, nameproduction of the original lump of ore in- ly, the first profit on the production of food, stead of profiting the miner two shillings transported across the ocean to feed the actually cost him fifty-nine dollars and six laborers who work in the mills and factoshillings, yet we can say that had the ore ries of the foreign capitalist—the English been converted into iron, the iron into capitalist, who has built the furnace near steel, and the steel into sword blades, by the mine and the coal field ; who has but practised artisans working under the di- a little way to send his iron to be convertrection of the miner himself, the profits of ed into steel ; whose brother, perhaps conall these processes, would have fallen in very verts the steel into ploughshares and scythé large proportion to himself and his work- blades; whose cousin perhaps, transports men, avoiding too, the costs of transpor- these ploughshares and scythe blades across tation of the heavy material, by five long the water, to be sold there to the first voyages from place to place, describing producer of the food; whose nephew, a great circles of the sphere. upon the sur- wealthy agriculturist, is able, in England face of the rounded globe.

itself, to keep down the price of that Let us now suppose, farther, that not food, and to enhance the value of the only the third profit, or of manufacture, scythes and ploughshares by the skilful the first profit, or of production, and the management of farms, so that, in times of second profit, or of conveyance, (trade plenty, that very first profit is reduced to and commerce,) but also the profit of nothing for him who sits in his log-house, agriculture, in the feeding of the workmen on a rough hill-side in Pennsylvania, readengaged in all these processes, and the ing the costly page of the Free Trade profit of cloth manufacture, in clothing the Union newspaper—the organ of that parsame, and the second profit of both of these, ty which has wrested from him, his neighand the third of both of these—that all bors and his children, half the profits of these nine different profits, together con- production, all the profits of transportation, centrated in the exquisitely modelled uten- all the profits of manufacture, all the prosil of steel, made serviceable for the scab- fits of mining, all the profits on the supply bard of the Turk, were together and joint- of coal, all the profits on the supply of ly retained by the industry of a single vil- cloth, and all the profits of that foreign lage in the state of Pennsylvania, and that capital which, vainly seeking investment in this too, was wholly a surplus of industry, England, would flow in upon his village, over and above the labor necessary for the were he justly protected by the laws, to maintainance of the village, would not build up there the mills and the factories, that community thrive, which, retaining to which are necessary to enable him, his itself the right of imparting all values to neighbors and his children after him, to commodities of steel, food and clothing, reap all the profits of Industry. left nothing to be done by others, but turn



Under the head of Trade, Commerce, | chaser who is to use it, and the carrier who and Transportation is included every species conveys it; whereas if there were no carof exchange of products of the surpluses of rier, the same amount of value, represented industry. Trade, as the generic term, in- by the loaf, would be divided between two cludes all kind of barter and exchange persons instead of among three : thus, for in lesser as well as in larger transactions : example, the baker charges for his loaf commerce, the intercourse of trade be- twelve cents, two of which are given by tween nations, or between states, or be- him to the carrier for the conveyance of tween remote parts of the same nation : the bread: one half of this loss falls upon navigation, the general system of means by himself, the other half

himself, the other half upon his customer. rivers, lakes, harbors, and the

open seas, of

The actual value of the loaf, including a the transportation by water, for the purposes just profit to himself, is eleven cents, he, of commerce : transportation, on the other however, paying one cent to the carrier, hand, includes every method of convey- and charging the customer one cent for ance by land and sea.

the same, is a loser to the same amount It has been sometimes claimed by politi- with his customer. The loss, in this parcal economists that the conveyance of ticular instance, is divided between the goods from place to place for the purposes producer and consumer; had there been of commerce, confers a certain value upon no necessity for carriage, the baker would them; that a loaf of bread, for example, is have charged eleven cents for the loaf inworth more, delivered in the kitchen, than stead of twelve, the customer would have it is at the mouth of the bakery; but if it been saved a loss of one cent to the carrier, were true, that transportation in itself con- and the baker would have been saved the sidered conferred value upon articles, an loss of one cent to the same. The addiindefinite amount of value might be com- tional one cent, paid as the value of the municated to a loaf of bread by transport- bread by the customer, is not a value coming it several times through the city before municated to the bread, but is simply a presenting it at the door of the kitchen. loss to the consumer, as the other cent is a

The actual value of a loaf of bread is to loss to the producer. be measured by its importance in sustain- In the instance cited, the loss was ing life,-- by its quantity, quality, and dura- divided between the consumer and the bility, applied to that purpose. It is less producer : it sometimes, however, falls valuable as it is more perishable when com- wholly upon the consumer, and sometimes pared with other kinds of food equally nu- wholly on the producer, according to the tritious and less perishable. It has a value circumstances and necessities of trade; if as food merely, taken together with all we take however the entire system of comother kinds of sustenance; and a relative merce, trade, and transportation, both by value, as bread, compared with other kinds land and water, it may be said without fear of food. But the value of a commodity is of contradiction that as every man is by actually diminished, and not increased by turns a producer and consumer, losses by transportation : and the reason is, that the transportation are equally distributed over agent employed in transporting it, derives the entire community. subsistence from it. The baker would sell Whatever may be argued in favor of the bread cheaper to his customers if they all moral advantages of commerce, it is neverlived at his door. All the value lying in the theless demonstrable that the entire profits bread itself, measured by its power of sus- of commerce are a division of loss between taining life, has to be divided between three producer and consumer, and that all that persons, the baker who produces it, the pur- is saved in transportation, by the improvements in navigation, and by canals, turn- | upon the sale of cotton, not only for the pikes, and railroads, is a diminution of loss return of his labor and capital invested, but both to producer and consumer.

for his surplus or profit. Now as it is a We consider it, therefore, to be a false much easier process to extend the producand mischeivous maxim in political econo- tion of the raw material, and to overflow my, that transportation adds to the value of the market with a particular agricultural a product, and that therefore commerce and commodity, such as cotton, than it is to transportation are in themselves advan- overstock the market of the world with tageous. On the contrary, it is the duty manufactures, the cotton planter lies, in a of the economist to look upon them as ob- great measure, at the mercy of the manustructions of so formidable a character, and facterer. involving such an enormous waste of life The cotton planter has but one purchaser, and energy, as to make their diminution namely, the manufacturer; and that one and facilitation the first object of private purchaser, with capital at his disposal, and enterprise and legislative enactment. the whole world for his market, is the ab

This object is to be accomplished in two solute master of the planter, especially different ways; 1st, by bringing the fur- when the latter by over production, has nace and smith-shop as near as possible to lost the power of retention, and is obliged, the mine; and the anvil and the loom as at any cost, to throw his goods upon the near as possible to the plough; and, 2d, market. when they are brought as near together as But this is not the only disadvantage sufnature and circumstances will permit, to fa- fered by the planter: the only profit which cilitate communication between them by comes to him is the first profit of producthe cheapest, safest, and freëst modes of | tion on the raw material, and out of this inter-communication.

must be deducted part of the loss by transAs the object of the political economist portation. As freights fall, the price of is to give the labor of man a right direc- cotton rises, and at the same time the price tion, and to make it yield the greatest pos- of manufactured articles, received in exsible return, and by no means to stir up an change for cotton, is diminished, but not in aimless and wasteful commercial activity, the same proportion. Equal weights of he will look upon what are called the in- manufactured and of raw cotton, may pay terests of commerce and trade with a jeal- equal freights, although one be a thousand ous eye, keeping guard lest the carrier em-times more valuable than the other; and ploy himself in the unnatural and unjust where the manufacturer pays ten cents to enlargement of his function, absorbing more have his goods borne across the water, the than his due share of the surpluses of in- seller of the raw material will pay a dustry. Strictly speaking, the most odious hundred'; for it is just as difficult and as and injurious of all monopolies are those expensive for the navigator to carry a bale which complicate, and render difficult and of raw cotton, from New York to Liverexpensive, the commercial intercourse be- pool, as to carry an equal weight of manutween cities of the same nation.

factured cotton from Liverpool to New The loss on the transportation of raw

York: it is therefore absolutely certain materials to the manufacturer, being far that the disadvantage of a rise of freight to greater than the loss by the transportation of the planter, occasioning a fall in the price manufactured articles, it is a necessary of cotton, is far greater than the simultapoint of national, as it is of private econo- neous disadvantage of the same rise to the my, that the product of the field and English manufacturer. If, therefore, it the mine should not have to be con- be true that the losses and expenses of veyed over long distances, by land and sea, transportation affect the producer more to reach the places where they are to be than the manufacturer, it is greatly for wrought up. It may be safely conjectured, the interest of the producer to bring the in the absence of exact statistical proof, manufacturer as near as possible to himthat the losses and expenses of transporta- self. tion of the raw material fall, in great part, Let us take the cotton planters together upon the producers.

as a community of interest, and consider The producer of cotton depends entirely the contingencies to which, as a body, they

are subjected by their dependence upon off their sole communication with the more distant manufacturers.

civilized world. The first of these contingencies, is in the The eighth contingency, is in the liability to failure and stoppage of the rivalry of other colonial dependencies manufacturers themselves, occasioning a producing the same kinds of raw material perpetual fluctuation in the demand for with themselves, as must eventually come raw material.

to pass in regard to the South; the greatThe second contingency, is that of over est efforts being now made by England, to production by the planters; a contingency make herself and her Asiatic colonies inso well understood and so much feared, as dependent of the American cotton growers. to be a subject of consultation among pub- The ninth contingency, is from the ablic conventions of planters.

sence of an armed artisan population in time The third contingency, resulting from the of war, to maintain a voluntary and efficient dependence of the planters upon one set of defence of the country. manufacturers, is that of suffering by ex- The tenth contingency, is in the absence tortionate prices; a circumstance very fa- of capital,—the sinews of war;—for the acmiliar to them some thirty years since. cumulation of capital by a colony dependent

A fourth contingency, is that of being upon a single foreign market, and produflooded, through the competition of foreign cing only one material—a material valueless manufacturers themselves, with an excessive until passed through machinery, is a thing abundance of cheap and worthless manu- unheard of and impossible. The planter exfactures ; those of better quality not being tends his plantations, but he does not into be had, for any reasonable price. crease the ratio of his profits; these, on the

A fifth contingency, is that of being obli- contrary, diminish regularly as plantations ged sometimes, if not always, to pay the extend ; nor can that property be considerfreightage both of the raw and the manu- ed a safe or a desirable one, which enslaves factured materials, through the private or its owner by a dependence upon so many and legislative management of the foreigner. so formidable contingencies. The sixth contingency, and by no means

We have enumerated the disadvantages a remote one, results from the general colo- which attend the Southern system: equal nial dependence, into which producers of the and even far greater disadvantages, and afraw material, in a remote and half civilized fecting still more deeply the interests of the community, depending on the one profit of nation attend upon the system of the Northproduction for their wealth, and with- ern free trade economists, which proposes out manufacturing resources, must ne- to make the Northern corn-grower, like cessarily fall, producing, at once, a moral, the Southern planter, dependent on the an iņtellectual and a pecuniary subordina- remote manufacturer. But the reader tion.

will not need to have the application of the The seventh contingency, is in the event principles detailed to him, after what has of war; an embargo, or a blockade cutting been already said in regard to the South.



If the entire currency of the world con- of coin, and this depreciation would be the sisted of gold and silver coin, if its quan- same with an apparent rise in the value of tity were, on a sudden, increased two-fold, purchaseable commodities. for every ounce of coin a second ounce The value of the precious metals is given being called into existence and put in cir- to them by their uses in chemistry, and in culation, there would be, as a consequence, the arts. A few only are employed as cura very considerable rise in the price of all rency: the others, known chiefly to chempurchaseable commodities. The abun- ists and manufacturers, viz., Rhodium, Irdance of coin would depreciate the value idium, Platinum and some others, have not

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »