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nization must be abandoned; but the scheme has been defended on grounds not quite so untenable. "Half a loaf," the proverb says, "is better than no bread ;" and it has been contended, that it is better an unemployed labourer should be made partially productive than live in total idleness. If by spade husbandry, or digging on the waste, he can raise half a subsistence, it is better than burdening the parish for the whole of it.
This resolves the question into the consideration of the least expensive mode of getting rid of, or maintaining the surplus population of the country.
The great end of all projects of popular improvement ought to be to render the working man selfdependent; to bring the market of labour into such a state that he may always command, by the exchange of his industry, a sufficiency of the necessaries of life without parish control or assistance. But a "consummation so devoutly to be wished," would not be achieved by the scheme we are considering. The home colonist would not be on a footing with the independent labourer, earning respectable wages, but on the footing rather of a West India slave, or vassal of a vestry, toiling on the parish domain. Here then we should have a new caste of population, encouraged, and virtually called into being, who are constrained by their lot to live as a sort of bondmen beneath the par of human liberty and enjoyment, and whose very presence in the land would operate as a depressing incubus on the condition of the working people. They would form
a body of reserve, from whom masters might indefinitely draw in every question of wages between themselves and their men, and by means of whom, therefore, they could, as in a market overstocked with labour, bring down indefinitely its price.
The scheme of the Dutch mendicity colony of Fredericks Oord, upon which the project of home colonization is founded, does not tend, permanently, to relieve the market of its redundancy, or better the condition of the labouring classes, but simply to create a new grade of paupers; whereas, the object of every enlightened well-wisher to the industrious classes, is to have no paupers at all. Emigration, it is probable, would be less expensive to parishes, and far more favourable to the condition of the unemployed labourer. In lieu of wasting his energies on an exhausted, or unfruitful soil, he might remove to climes, where not only his industry would be amply repaid-his personal rights undiminishedbut, a future field of prosperity and happiness opened for his posterity.
CAUSES OF HIGH WAGES.
Effect on Wages of an Increase in the Incomes of Individuals --Wages increase with the increase of national CapitalState of Society most favourable to the Working ClassesPopulation increased faster than Capital in Ireland-Demand for Labour increased by Security of Property-Necessity of Freedom in the Employment of Capital and IndustryEffects of War and civil Commotions on the Condition of the Industrious Orders.
In the preceding chapter, I endeavoured to show the effects produced on the market of labour, by a reduction of wages-by mercantile and agricultural speculation-and by the increase of population: I also adverted to the influence of civil liberty, of government, and taxation on the condition of the working classes, and the tendency of home colonization, and other expedients for bettering their situ ation: my next object will be to elucidate the circumstances tending to augment the demand for labour, in other words, the funds or active capital for its employment.
The demand for the services of those who live by wages-mechanics, operatives, and labourers of every kind, can only increase in proportion to the increase of the funds destined to the payment of wages.
When a landlord, annuitant, or other private
person, living on an income of any kind, has a greater revenue than necessary to the maintenance of his family, he employs either the whole, or part of the surplus, in the maintenance of one or more servants. Increase the surplus, and he will natuturally increase the number of his servants, whereby he is enabled to make a nicer division of employments in his household. In lieu of restricting himself to a single domestic of all work, he will divide the duties between a cook and housemaid; if his income continues progressively to augment, he will, perhaps, add an upper housemaid to his establishment, then, perhaps, a footman, groom, coachman, butler, valet, and gardener; till, at length, he has about him that numerous train of dependants, usually found on the establishments of persons of large fortune.
In this progress two incidents may be remarked, namely, that not only is the demand for servants increased by the increase in the incomes of individuals, but also the duties of each become less onerous, and the number of the more agreeable and lucrative situations is multiplied. If the highest incomes would only allow the possessors to keep one or two domestics, such occupations as those of valet and lady's maid would not be heard of in society.
The increase in the number of those employed in agriculture, trades, and manufactures, keeps pace with the increase in the amount of capital that can be devoted to these employments. A farmer possessed of only a small capital, can only rent a small
number of acres; he has neither funds to pay the wages of a large number of labourers, nor to purchase stock and implements of husbandry: if his capital increase, he may increase the size of his farm, and the amount of his outgoings. The business of the manufacturer, is in like manner circumscribed by the amount of his capital, in proportion to which only can he lay in a stock of the raw material of his manufacture, set up machinery, erect mills and factories, and employ workpeople. The operations of the merchant-the extent of his dealings-whether he is a home or foreign trader-whether he buys for money or on credit-and the length of credit he allows to his customers, will necessarily be regulated by the quantity of money he can command: if his capital be considerable, he will aim at realizing the higher profits of speculation, by laying in commodities at low, with the view of selling them at high prices. The truth of the principle is so obvious, that it hardly requires further illustration. Every petty tradesman, shopkeeper, and retailer; in short, every employer of workmen, servants, or apprentices, is sensible that the extent of the business he can carry on, is limited by the capital he can raise. Why is not every journeyman a master? Simply for this reason he has no capital; in other words, he has no money to commence business, to buy materials, and hire the services of other journeymen.
The demand for those who live by wages, therefore, necessarily increases with the increase of capital and individual incomes. The increase of