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The shoemaker who had formerly only manufactured one pair of shoes a day, would now be able to manufacture ten pairs. But as an equal improvement had taken place in every other department of industry, he would be able to obtain ten times the quantity of every other product in exchange for his shoes. In a country thus circumstanced, every workman would have a great quantity of his own work to dispose of, beyond what he had occasion for; and as every other workman would be in the same situation, each would be enabled to exchange their own goods for a great quantity, or, what comes to the same thing, for the price of a great quantity of those of others. The condition of such a society would be happy in the extreme. All the necessaries, luxuries, and conveniencies of life, would be universally diffused.

It may, however, be asked, would the demand be now sufficient to take off the increased quantity of commodities?-Would their excessive multiplication not cause such a glut of the market, as to force their sale at a lower price than what would be required to repay the diminished cost of production? But it is not necessary, in order to render an increase in the productive powers of labour advantageous to society, that these powers should always be exerted to the full extent. If the labourer's command over the necessaries and comforts of life were suddenly raised to ten times its present amount, (and this would really be the effect of the improvement in question), the consumption as well as the savings of the labourer would doubtless be very greatly increased; but it is not at all likely that he would continue to exert his full powers. In such a state of society we should no longer hear of workmen being engaged 12 or 14 hours a day in hard labour, or of children being immured from their tenderest years in a cotton-mill. The labourer would then be able, without endangering his means of subsistence, to devote a greater portion of his time to amusement, and to the cultivation of his mind. It is only where the productive powers of industry are comparatively feeble-where the labourer has to derive his supplies cf food from soils of the fourth or fifth degree of fertility-and where an oppressive system of taxation abstracts a third or a fourth of the produce of his earnings, that he is compelled to make these excessive exertions. High wages are only advantageous because of the increased comforts they bring along with them; and of these, an addition to the time which may be devoted to purposes of amusement, is certainly not one of the least. Wherever wages are high, and little subject to fluctuation, the labourers are found to be active, intelligent, and industrious. But they do not prosecute their

employments with the same intensity as the miserable wretches who are obliged, by the pressure of the severest necessity, to strain every nerve to the utmost. They are enabled to enjoy their intervals of ease and relaxation; and they do enjoy them.

Suppose, however, that the productive powers of industry are increased ten times; nay, suppose they are increased ten thousand times, and that they are exerted to the utmost, still there is no reason to apprehend any lasting glut of the market. It is true, that those persons who were more industrious than their neighbours might produce commodities which those who were less industrious-who preferred indolence to exertionmight not have the means of purchasing, or for which they might not be able to furnish an equivalent. But the glut arising from this circumstance would speedily disappear. The object which every man has in view in exerting his productive powers, must be, either to consume the produce of his labour himself, or to exchange it for such commodities as he wishes to obtain from others. If he does the last-if he produces commodities, and offers them in exchange to others who are unable to furnish him with those he is desirous of obtaining, he is guilty of a miscalculation-he should himself have directly produced them: And if the government do not interfere to relieve him. from the consequences of his error, he will immediately set about changing his employment, and will produce such commodities only as he means directly to consume. It is clear, therefore, that an universally increased facility of production, can never be the cause of a permanent overloading of the market. Suppose that the quantity of capital and industry invested in every different employment in this country, is now adjusted according to the effectual demand, and that they are all yielding the same nett profit; if the productive powers of labour be universally increased, the commodities produced will all preserve the same relative value to each other. Double or triple the quantity of one commodity will be given for double or triple the quantity of every other commodity. There would be a general augmentation of the wealth of the society; but there would be no excess of commodities in the market; the increased equivalents on the one side being precisely balanced by the increased equivalents on the other. But if, while one class of producers were industrious, another class chose to be idle, there would undoubtedly be a temporary excess: why, however, would the commodities produced by the industrious class be an excess? Is it not clear that it arises entirely from the deficient production of the idle class? It is not a consequence of production being too much increased, but

of its being too little increased. Increase it more-make the idle class equally productive with the others, and then they will be able to furnish them with equivalents for their commodities, and the surplus will immediately disappear. It is in vain that Mr Malthus supposes the existence of an indisposition to conThere is no such indisposition in any country in the world;--not even in Mexico, to which Mr Malthus has specially referred. The indisposition is not to consume, but to produce. In Mexico, as elsewhere, a man is not entitled to consume the products of the industry of other men, unless he furnishes them with an equivalent; but the Mexican prefers indolence to the gratification which the commodities he might procure in exchange for the produce of his labour would give him. Mr Malthus has mistaken this indisposition to produce, for an indisposition to consume; and has, in consequence, been led to deny the proposition, that effective demand depends upon pro


Mr Malthus has himself stated, that the demand for a commodity depends on the will combined with the power to purchase it; that is, on the power to furnish an equivalent for it. But when did we hear of a want of will to purchase commodities? The poorest beggar in the kingdom wishes to ride in a coach and six, to be clothed in velvets, and to drink champagne and burgundy. If the will alone could procure the necessaries and luxuries of life, we should all be as rich as Crosus, and the market would constantly be understocked with commodities. It is the power that is the real and the only desideratum.-It is the not being able to furnish an equivalent for the commodities they wish to obtain, that involves the greater portion of society in want and wretchedness. Increase the power of purchasing, or, which is precisely the same thing, increase the facility of production, and you instantly improve the condition of every individual.

The want of a ready market is undoubtedly the immediate cause of the distresses of the manufacturers and agriculturists of this country. But we deny that this difficulty of finding purchasers for our commodities, has been in any degree owing to the increase in the powers of production. On the contrary, it is easy to show, that had it not been for this increase, the market would have been much more contracted than it really is. The want of foreign demand, as it is confessedly not occasioned by a deficient supply of those commodities which our merchants and manufacturers would willingly accept from foreigners in exchange for their products, must proceed from one or other of the following causes:-It must either be a consequence of the

comparatively high price of our commodities, or of the restrictions which have been imposed on the importation of British goods into foreign countries, and on the importation of foreign goods into Britain. Now, it is obvious that, if the falling off in the foreign demand proceeds from the first of these causes, it must have been infinitely increased had the cost of production continued undiminished. If, notwithstanding all the contrivances of our Arkwrights and our Watts, to save labour and expense in the production of commodities, we are still in danger of being undersold by foreigners, it is certain that, without these contrivances, we should not have been able to withstand their competition for a single twelvemonth. It would be not a little inconsequential, first to complain that our goods were too high priced for the foreign market, and then, by way of mending the matter, to declaim against the only means by which their prices could be reduced and the demand increased!

It is not to the general introduction of machinery, but to the factitious and exclusive commercial system that we have adopted, and to the oppressiveness of taxation, that all our distresses are to be ascribed. The inhabitants of Poland, Norway, Sweden, France, China, Brazil, &c. are most desirous to exchange their corn, timber, iron, wines, silks, teas, sugars, &c. for our products. These commodities, too, are peculiarly well fitted for our markets; and, in point of fact, form the very equivalents our merchants would be most anxious to obtain in return for their exports. It is plain, therefore, that the deficient foreign demand for our commodities is not owing to their excessive supply, (for the foreigners are both able and willing to become their purchasers), but solely to those prohibitive regulations which fetter and restrict the freedom of exportation and importation. There cannot, it must be recollected, be any selling without an equal buying. But, as we have peremptorily refused to buy from others those commodities with which they abound, and in the production of which they have some natural advantage, they have not the means of buying from us. The Poles and Norwegians, for example, have nothing but corn and timber to give us in exchange for our cottons, woollens, hardware, &c.; and as we have peremptorily prohibited the introduction of either the one or the other into our markets, they have been reluctantly compelled to resort to other countries for those supplies of manufactured goods they formerly obtained from England. If we would repeal our own barbarous regulations-if, instead of forcing our people to build their houses with the inferior and expensive timber of Canada, we were to allow them to use the superior and cheaper timber of Memel and Norway;

-and if, instead of forcing soils of the fifth or sixth degree of fertility to yield a scanty and inadequate return for the expenses of their cultivation, we were to import the comparatively cheap corn of Poland and the United States, the foreign demand for our commodities would be astonishingly increased. It is, indeed, completely in our power, by merely adopting a more liberal system in our intercourse with France-by consenting to admit her wines, silks, and brandies, on payment of moderate duties, to double or triple the number of the foreign continental consumers of British products.

We do not mean to deny that some portion of the commercial embarrassments which immediately followed the termination of the late contest with France, arose from a sudden glut of the foreign markets, caused by a too great exportation of British commodities to the Continent, subsequently to the, opening of the Dutch ports. But this circumstance will not account for the continued difficulty we have since experienced in finding a profitable vent for our commodities. During the latter years of the war, we completely engrossed the commerce of the world. After the Orders in Council had put an end to the carrying trade of the Americans, the Continental nations could neither procure colonial produce, nor raw cotton, for the purposes of manufacturing. They were in consequence induced, notwithstanding the contrary prohibitions of Buonaparte, to purchase English goods to an unprecedented extent. It was declared, in evidence before the Bullion Committee, that cotton, which sold for 2s. per pound in London, was worth 6s. in Amsterdam, and Ss. in Paris; and that the chief articles of export from this country to the Continent, brought prices there from 50 to 200, and 300 per cent. higher than they brought at home! This evidence, it will be remembered, was given in 1810; and yet, in the preceding year, 1809, we had exported a greater quantity of commodities to the Continent than in any previous season, and nearly as much as we have done in any one year since the peace. But the productive powers of the Continental nations, or, which is the same thing, their means of furnishing equivalents for such commodities as they might be desirous of obtaining from foreigners, have unquestionably been increased since that period; and had we adopted a liberal commercial system, they would now have formed a much more extensive market for our commodities than at any former period. Instead, however, of judiciously availing ourselves of these advantages, we chose the very moment when the return of tranquillity had enabled them to become our competitors in various branches of industry, of which we had enjoyed a monopoly during the war, to

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