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ments 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 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 intellectual 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.
CURRENCY, BALANCE OF TRADE.
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
been employed as currency, with the excep- the governments of the states, it was fortion of Platinum, the great demand for bidden to use bank notes under the denomwhich metal in the arts, occasioned such very ination of ten dollars ; it would then follow large supplies of it to be procured from the that the multifarious businesses, which are ores, as to depreciate the value of this metal now carried on by the medium of a paper as specie. The values affixed to the Pla- currency of small notes, would be transtinum coins of Russia, are much above the acted in coin ; and a much larger quanactual market value of the metal itself. tity of coin would be needed than is
If it should happen at any time, that by at present in use ; the need would increase the discovery of some new uses for the pre- the value of that coin which happened to cious metals, in chemistry and the arts, a be available at the time, and the value very large quantity of them should be of gold, silver and copper coins would withdrawn from circulation and consumed have a sensible rise in all parts of the counin manufacture, a proportionate rise would try. Thus we see that the value of mebe felt in the value of specie, and a rela- tals, used as currency, is given to them by tive depreciation in the value of purchase- several causes : able commodities. Thus it appears, that 1. Their uses in chemistry, and in the the value of gold and silver depends, other arts, and things being equal, on its abundance or 2. Their relative abundance or scarcity, scarcity in the market.
as a medium of exchange. But there are other causes of variation Again. Their values fluctuatein the value of gold and silver. For the 1. Relatively to each other, and purposes of commerce, and for the ordina 2. Relatively to purchaseable commodry purchase of commodities at retail, a cer- ities. tain amount of exchangeable property in a When it becomes necessary, in conseconvenient form is needed, that can be quence of a balance of trade against us, to passed readily from hand to hand. The remit large amounts of specie to Europe, precious metals are preferred for this pur- the precious metals experience a rise in pose, and the relative value which they value, in consequence of the insufficiency bear to each other is ascertained and of what is left to meet the ordinary necesstamped upon equal pieces of them by the sities of the market. government. A certain weight of silver When, on the contrary, the balance of represents one hundred pieces of a certain trade is in our favor, and foreigners purweight of copper.
A certain weight of chase largely of us with specie, the pregold represents ten pieces of a certain cious metals experience a fall, because weight of silver; that is to say, so much there is more than enough for all the purgold will purchase so much silver or cop- poses of life. per, and so much silver will purchase so When there is a great abundance of the much gold or copper. The adjustment of precious metals in this country, and a relathe coinage consists chiefly in ascertaining tive scarcity in Europe or Asia, they are the relative values of the three metals in sent abroad for the purchase of foreign use, and giving to the coined pieces of commodities; because at such times, each metal, a decimal relationship to a dollar will buy more in foreign counthose of other metals. If, for example, tries, than it will at home; and thus, a copper, through great abundance, should scarcity of coin in foreign countries, occafall to half its present value, and it sioning a free exportation of specie, will was considered necessary still to make the make a balance of trade against us, greatly copper coin represent one hundredth part to our advantage ; it is therefore necessary of the silver dollar, a new coinage would to make due allowance for this circumstance, have to be made of copper, either doubling in judging whether the state of our trade the size of the present cent, or making it, with foreigners is favorable or unfavorable with its present size, represent a half cent; to ourselves. Let us suppose for example, and so of the other metals used as specie. that by the creation of a great number of
But there are still other causes of fluctua new banks, a vast quantity of paper cura tion in the value of the metals used for cur- rency was thrown out upon the markets, rency. Let us suppose that by an act of all composed of small bills; and that these
were accepted by the people, instead of ance of an unfavorable balance of trade gold and silver ; a momentary consequence against us. of this would be a depreciation of gold and Thus it appears that the proportion of silver, and its consequent exportation, and specie to merchandise, in the comparison an increase of the appearance of an un of exports and imports, cannot be taken, favorable balance of trade.
other things considered, as a perfect measure And now let us imagine the failure of of commercial prosperity ; but it is always all these newly created banks; their notes necessary to ascertain by what other caubecoming valueless; then, all over the ses in the country itself, and in foreign country there would be a rise in the rela countries, the value of specie has been aftive value of gold and silver, and a conse- fected, before we pronounce favorably or quent re-importation of the precious unfavorably for ourselves in regard to the metals, and a diminution of the appear- ' Balance of Trade.
ORGANIZATION OF INDUSTRY.
As it is the object both of the producer profit of the merchant tailor ; a combinaand the consumer, to secure for themselves tion of journeymen working and selling in the largest possible share of the surpluses a shop of their own, can divide this profit of industry, which, by the intervention of between themselves and the buyer ; selling trade and commerce, are greatly diminished, the clothes for two dollars and a half less it is equally for their interest to deal justly price, and reaping two dollars and a half with each other, without the intervention advantage to themselves. If a combinaof brokers, tradesmen, and speculators. tion of miners can establish a furnace, This idea has given rise to combinations of smelt their own ores, and sell their own artisans, who abandoning the old plan of products, they are enabled to divide the forcing the master to pay them higher profits which would otherwise go to the wages, and of persecuting those workmen capitalist, between themselves and the purwho would allow themselves to be employed chasers. for insufficient wages, have discovered that If an hundred artisans can combine for by a judicious combination, they may es the erection of a village of their own, or cape entirely out of the power of the mas of a dwelling house in the city large enough ter workman, and bring themselves in a to contain them all, they save to themselves direct contact with the purchasing public, all the profits of rent, and are thus enabled in other words, with the consumers. to purchase more of the comforts of life,
If the journeyman artisan can supply and escape the dangers of ejectment from the market, without the intervention of a inability to pay rent. merchant or employer, he saves to himself If several farmers can combine for the a portion of that profit which would come cultivation of a single great farm, the same to the employer. If the employer makes stock and labor can be employed upon the ten per cent. by selling the labor of his whole, and with such a saving of time, and journeyman, that loss is divided between such an economical distribution of labor the buyer and the journeyman; but if and capital, as to insure a much larger the journeyman is able to supply the cus- profit, and subject to fewer contingencies tomer directly, and without the interven- and losses. Such is the new principle of tion of a third party, the purchaser will the organization of industry, agitated by obtain the goods” at a lower rate, and the the new economists, and it is hard indeed journeyman will obtain a higher wage ; and to discover any fallacy in the reasoning so both parties are the gainers by dispen- which they employ to establish it. sing with the dealer or master workman. Combinations of this kind require to be
Suppose that a suit of clothes costs undertaken with caution, and to be contwenty-five dollars, five of which go to the ducted with extreme economy and integri
ty: whether they succeed or not, seems to exchanged; and here again the superior depend entirely upon the intelligence, pru- knowledge and keenness of the agent gives dence and honesty of those who engage in him an unavoidable advantage over his emthem, and not upon any inherent difficulty ployers, and his salary must be increased or in the system itself.
his per centage augmented in proportion to Let us suppose,
for example, that a num the wealth and the profits of those for whom ber of farmers agree to establish for them- he acts. selves à store in their vicinity, which shall We see, therefore, that the inequality of also be a place of deposit for the sale of gain is a circumstance unavoidable under the products of their farms: the manager the present system, however exactly and of the store will require indeed to be sup- judiciously organized. In fact, we are ported out of their joint surpluses, and the driven to the conclusion, that the new prices paid by purchasers ; the goods de- theorists are not indeed theorists, but only posited in his care, being no property of reformers, who, accepting the established his, the temptation to fraud on his part will modes and processes of commerce, desire be infinitely less than if he were, at once, only to give them a better shape, excluding the buyer and seller of all that pass through what is irregular and mischievous, extendhis hands.
ing what is permanent and valuable, and in As it might not be advantageous to main fine, perfecting the economical arrangetain such a person by a salary, let us sup- ments of society as they exist among ourpose that he is paid by a certain per cent- selves. age of the profits; this per centage being Stripped of that ridiculous accompaniregulated by an agreement between himself ment of metaphysics and false science, with and the parties who employ him. Every which it has been invested by Fourier and farmer in the neighborhood would leave his followers, the organization of labor seems with the person an account of the products to be an effort merely to insure to industry which he had to dispose of. This would and ability their just reward. There is inbe a necessary function of the agent in deed a science of business, and that science this labor and profit saving scheme, and is economy—the law of the household; constitute him a commission merchant, a and its principles are one and the same for person whose duties are already thoroughly families, villages, towns, cities, states, and understood and defined ; nor is it probable nations, under the regulation of that mind that any improvement could be theoreti- which is undefinable, that universal reason cally suggested for the better management which distinguishes men above the brutes. of commission.
The first principle of economy, is doubtAll that is advanced by the new theory, less, the simple necessity that the individis a reduction of those enormous profits of ual shall exist, that he shall sustain himself: the commission merchant, by subjecting The second, that he shall not injure, but him to the immediate supervision of a com benefit his neighbor. Justice only forbids bination of producers. A wealthy combi- an injury, and restrains the individual to nation of producers making large profits the limits assigned him by reason and cirthemselves, a circumstance which would cumstance. Economy commands a benefit, happen of course, would, however, willing- and extends the activity of the individual ly allow their commissioner to make large for the good of others. profits : indeed, were he ever so much un Nothing serves to illustrate the objects der their direction and influence, the supe- and principles of public economy more perrior knowledge which he would soon ac- fectly than the two propositions which have quire, would make them dependent upon been already dwelt upon. The proposition, him in a measure, and that too, in the pro- first, that the consumer and producer portion of the service which he rendered should be near together, to escape the losses them.
and delays of transportation; and proposiOn the other hand, it would be his duty, tion, second, that the exchange of surpluses, under the new theory, to purchase for them between consumer and producer, should be either with their capital, or by the barter through the fewest possible hands. of their commodities, those luxuries and It is the fashion of a certain school of comforts for which their surplus is to be miscalled economists to look upon the