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be, the loss or gain of uncounted private and public wealth, to one side or the other.
Many things are also imported as permanent fixtures in the means or instruments of wealth, which are of more or less, some of great value. Many of the mechanic and fine arts import their instruments, not obtainable at home. A great variety of imports are brought in as means of wealth.
But the Free-Trade economists make no distinction between articles that are consumed in the using, and those which are employed for the increase of wealth. It may be allowed, that all that is consumed to nerve the arm of labor, and make it more available, and all that is consumed to make skill more productive, belong to the latter class; and it may also be allowed, as it is undoubtedly true, that all the wastes and extravagances of those who can afford it, make more work and profit for the industrious and frugal. All private and public expenditures give employment to labor and art. But when we come to the question of the greatest national economy, all these things are to be sifted, and well considered. It is evident that a nation may be losing on an immense scale, when, according to the doctrines of the Free-Trade economists, it is asserted to be increasing in wealth. According to these doctrines, the United States were never doing better, never so well, as from 1835 to 1840, when they were plunging headlong into general bankruptcy, where, as need not be said, they arrived, to the great sorrow and painful remembrance of all who lived in those times.
As a farther illustration of the profit of manufactures to a nation, we would commend the following extract from Mr. Gilbart's "Lectures on Ancient Commerce" :
"All nations that become manufacturing nations, have become commercial nations; and have, consequently, become wealthy. Manufacturing nations rise to wealth from the additional value which they give to the raw materials. For there is an immense difference between the value of the raw materials and the value of the same materials in a manufactured state. These high prices arise from the immense quantity of labor that is expended on the articles. This is the reason why manufacturing nations get wealthy, because they give employment to the whole population. Men, women, and children, are all employed. The effect on national wealth may be thus illustrated. If I had an estate so fertile, that for every bushel of seed, I should have a crop of 600 bushels, I should soon get rich. But if, for the price of a bushel
of wheat, I can buy a quantity of raw material, and by the labor I bestow upon it, I can sell it for the price of 600 bushels, it is the same thing to me as though I had an estate which yielded a crop of 600-fold. In manufactures you can introduce a greater quantity of machinery. Agriculture labors under this disadvantage, that, whatever machinery we apply, all we can do is to increase the crop, and to cheapen some of the operations; we can not, to any extent, quicken the process. We may, by machinery, weave a piece of cotton or silk, or make a pair of razors, in half the time heretofore employed; but we can not make a field produce a crop of wheat, barley, or potatoes, in half the usual time. Seed-time and harvest will go on, and the operations of nature will not be stimulated, to any great extent, by any machinery we can apply."
But to return to the main question of this chapter, as to whether the gain of individuals is the gain of a nation. The following principle, incidentally recorded by Ricardo, is itself alone sufficient to settle it, viz., that "every transaction in commerce, is an independent transaction." But Ricardo, and those of his school, aver, that in all cases, the nation profits in the profit of its merchants, who are engaged in foreign trade. The merchant trades to get rich, not to enrich his country. His eye is solely on his own interest, and he acts independently of all other results. "Every transaction in commerce, is an independent transaction." The jobber, who stands between the importer and the retailer, trades on the same principle of self-interest and independence, with the importer; the retailer also trades on the same principle; and the consumer buys on the same principle. "Every transaction is independent" alike of every other, and of the general good. We will suppose it happens in the end, that consumers, retailers, jobbers, and importers, have together, in their independent transactions, and in the aggregate, bought more of the foreign world, than they have sold, and owe a balance in cash, which must be remitted, notwithstanding, as we will suppose, that the importers, jobbers, and retailers, have all got rich by these transactions. Is it not manifest, by other parts of this argument, that they have got rich at the expense of the country?
M. Say carries the argument of profit arising from the sale of specie, to a most extravagant point. For example: "A nation gains in wealth by the partial export of its specie, because the residue is of equal value to the total previous amount, and the nation receives an equivalent for the portion exported. Whence
it is evident, that governments should encourage, instead of discouraging, the export of specie."
"The residue is of equal value!" That is to say, it must answer the purpose of the nation's "tools of trade," though it is but half a set, or a quarter it may be; but the value of every product of labor, and of labor itself, must fall in that proportion, or tend to that point till it gets there, under a permanency of such a state of things. M'Culloch has laid down the principle—a sound one-thus: "If the quantity of money in Great Britain, were reduced a half, the rate of wages [and of course the value of the products of labor] estimated in money, would decline in the same proportion." A sixpence must answer the same purpose that a shilling did before, else "the residue is not of equal value." If the shilling state of things was good, why disturb it for the profit of a few traders, when this 25 or 50 per cent. depression of prices is an infinitely greater loss to the community, than what the traders have gained; which, apparently, M. Say did not think of. Besides, if he does not propose this as a permanency, these fluctuations are a public, involving private, misfortune. What nation could stand this having just enough "tools of trade" one year; half enough a year after; three quarters enough the third year; and so on; prices constantly falling and rising accordingly, never too high, but often too low, sometimes ruinous ? As to the "equivalent" received, the traders may get it; but does the nation get it? The nation, peradventure, has worn out a part on their backs, and the rest has gone into their bellies, which, as in the case of all spendthrifts and gourmands, they had better have done withAnd so, for such reasons, governments should encourage, instead of discouraging the export of specie!"
Again he says: "The superiority of money, in the interchange between individuals, does not extend to that between nation and nation. In the latter money, and, a fortiori, bullion, lose all the advantage of their peculiar character as money, and are dealt with as mere commodities."
It will be seen, that M. Say grants "the peculiar character of money" here, which is what we denominate its character as the instrument or "tools" of trade. But he says, "this does not extend to the interchange between nations." This is an unqualified mistake. Surely M. Say ought to have known, that the resort of an importer in making his remittances abroad, to a broker as an intermediate agent who trades in exchanges, does not affect the
position of the importer in relation to his foreign creditor, nor the functions of his remittances as a consideration for the goods he imports. It is true, that, in the hands of the broker, the remittances are subjects of trade, as mere commodities;" but as remittances from an importer in one country to a factor in another, whether bullion or coin there is no 66 a fortiori" in the casedischarge the appropriate functions of money as the instrument, and not as a subject, of trade. The case supposed determines this. It is "the export of specie," to pay for other commodities.
Again this astute reasoner says: "Suppose, for a moment, the internal traffic and national wealth of a given country to be such, as to require the constant employment of a thousand carriages of different kinds. Suppose, too, that, by some peculiar system of commerce, it should succeed in getting more carriages annually imported, than were annually destroyed by wear and tear; so that, at the year's end, there should be 1500 instead of 1000; is it not obvious, in that case, that there would be 500 lying by, in the repositories, quite useless," etc.
Give us the thousand carriages, and we are satisfied. The question is not about having an additional 500 on hand, not wanted; but about parting with 500 of the 1000 which are wanted. Most incautiously, M. Say has here granted the very point we contend for, to wit, that there is a certain amount of money which the trade of every country requires as "tools" to work with. Give us the thousand carriages, and the question is at rest. But what M. Say contends for, is, that we can not only do with 500, but that it would be a fine speculation to sell even that 500, after we have got them in hand. Is not this his reasoning? We are certainly much obliged to him for the "carriages," because they are exactly what we wanted.
Definition-Who are Laborers.-Labor is Capital.-The Effect of not recognising this Fact in Public Economy-The False Position awarded to Labor by the Economists.— The Position which they themselves occupy False-Labor Capital vested in Man himself, and estimated by his Life and Powers.-Labor-Capital reproduces itself indefinitely. -It is the Parent of all other Capital-It is more Profitable than any other-It is the Gift of God. and Inalienable.-The Machinery of Society is its Product, which reacts to give it Value-Labor Capital may be under Restraint, in Certain Circumstances.-Labor the Source of all Wealth, by creating all Commercial Values-Labor bound to share in the Burdens of Society and entitled to Protection.-Labor in its True Position, defines Human Rights.-The Perversion and Abuse of those Rights, owing to its False Position in Public Economy.-The Results of the American Revolution put it in the right Place-Labor Man's Honor, not Disgrace—It is the great Political Element.-Labor Discovered and made America-American Independence, Labor's Jubilee.-Its Cousequences. Rent." as practised in Europe, created Classes.-Labor considered as the Agent of Power, and as an Independent Ageut-The former Slavery, the latter Freedom-The First the State of Labor in Europe, the second its Condition in the United States. The Malthusian Theory, as it justified European Economists and European Society, in enslaving Labor.-The Theory a Blasphemy -This Problem solved in America.-Origin of the term Landlord, with its Lesson-Labor, to be Free, must have an Alternative in another Chance besides the Wages offered.-Europe does not afford that Chance. America does-Political Chances of American Citizens.-Causes and Ef fects of the Difference in the Value of Labor and Money, in Europe and America.The Power and Aims of Governments which oppress Labor.-The Interests of Civilization vested in Labor.-The Rights of Labor, Political.-The Rights of Labor the Strife of the Age-The Pivot on which it turns.
LABOR is the application of the powers and devices of man, to supply the wants and gratify the desires of the race.
It will be seen by this definition, that laborers are a very comprehensive class. They are not confined to those who engage in manual toil; who dig, or who plough the land or ocean; who are occupied in the various branches of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce; in the mechanic, useful, or fine arts; who construct canals and railroads, build houses or ships; who make hard hands and hard fists, by striking hard blows; who wipe the sweat from the brow of toil, in any vocation, in doors or out, on land or water; -but all who apply their powers and faculties, of body or mind; their hands, or their heads, or their fingers; their invention or their skill; their hearts or their intellect, to supply the wants of society; -the scholar, the learned professions, teachers of every class, artists, authors, devotees of science and literature; legislators, magistrates, judges, clerks, and many other classes, more than can