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But the whole price of any commodity muft ftill finally refolve itself into fome one or other, or all of those three parts; as whatever part of it remains after paying the rent of the land, and the price of the whole labour employed in raifing, manufacturing, and bringing it to market, muft neceffarily be profit to fomebody.
As the price or exchangeable value of every particular commodity, taken feparately, refolves itself into fome one or other, or all of those three parts; fo that of all the commodities which compofe the whole annual produce of the labour of every country, taken complexly, muft refolve itself into the fame three parts, and be parcelled out among different inhabitants of the country, either as the wages of their labour, the profits of their stock, or the rent of their land. The whole of what is annually either collected or produced by the labour of every fociety, or what comes to the fame thing, the whole price of it, is in this manner originally distributed among fome of its different members. Wages, profit, and rent, are the three original fources of all revenue as well as of all exchangeable value. All other revenue is ultimately derived from fome one or other of thefe.
Whoever derives his revenue from a fund which is his own, muft draw it either from his labour, from his ftock, or from his land. The revenue derived from labour is called wages. That derived from flock, by the person who manages or employs it, is called profit. That derived from it by the perfon who does not em
ploy it himself, but lends it to another, is called CHA P. the interest or the use of money. It is the compenfation which the borrower pays to the lender, for the profit which he has an opportunity of making by the use of the money. Part of that profit naturally belongs to the borrower, who runs the risk and takes the trouble of employing it; and part to the lender, who affords him the opportunity of making this profit. The interest of money is always a derivative revenue, which, if it is not paid from the profit which is made by the use of the money, must be paid from fome other fource of revenue, unless perhaps the borrower is a fpendthrift, who contracts a fecond debt in order to pay the intereft of the firft. The revenue which proceeds altogether from land, is called rent, and belongs to the landlord. The revenue of the farmer is derived partly from his labour, and partly from his ftock. To him, land is only the inftrument which enables him to earn the wages of this labour, and to make the profits of this ftock. All taxes, and all the revenue which is founded upon them, all falaries, penfions, and annuities of every kind, are ultimately derived from fome one or other of thofe three original fources of revenue, and are paid either immediately or mediately from the wages of labour, the profits of ftock, or the rent of land.
When those three different forts of revenue belong to different perfons, they are readily dif tinguished; but when they belong to the fame
BOOK they are sometimes confounded with one another, at least in common language.
A gentleman who farms a part of his own eftate, after paying the expence of cultivation, fhould gain both the rent of the landlord and the profit of the farmer. He is apt to denominate, however, his whole gain, profit, and thus confounds rent with profit, at least in common language. The greater part of our North American and West Indian planters are in this fituation. They farm, the greater part of them, their own eftates, and accordingly we feldom hear of the rent of a plantation, but frequently of its profit.
Common farmers feldom employ any overfeer to direct the general operations of the farm. They generally too work a good deal with their own hands, as ploughmen, harrowers, &c. What remains of the crop after paying the rent, therefore, fhould not only replace to them their stock employed in cultivation, together with its ordinary profits, but pay them the wages which are due to them, both as labourers and overfeers. Whatever remains, however, after paying the rent and keeping up the ftock, is called profit. But wages evidently make a part of it. The farmer, by faving thefe wages, must neceffarily gain them. Wages, therefore, are in this cafe confounded with profit.
An independent manufacturer, who has ftock enough both to purchase materials, and to maintain himself till he can carry his work to market,
fhould gain both the wages of a journeyman who CHA P. works under a master, and the profit which that mafter makes by the fale of the journeyman's work. His whole gains, however, are commonly called profit, and wages are, in this cafe too, confounded with profit.
A gardener who cultivates his own garden with his own hands, unites in his own perfon the three different characters, of landlord, farmer, and labourer. His produce, therefore, fhould pay him the rent of the firft, the profit of the second, and the wages of the third. The whole, however, is commonly confidered as the earnings of his labour. Both rent and profit are, in this cafe, confounded with wages.
As in a civilized country there are but few commodities of which the exchangeable value arifes from labour only, rent and profit contributing largely to that of the far greater part of them, fo the annual produce of its labour will always be fufficient to purchase or command a much greater quantity of labour than what was employed in raifing, preparing, and bringing that produce to market. If the fociety were annually to employ all the labour which it can annually purchase, as the quantity of labour would encrease greatly every year, fo the produce of every fucceeding year would be of vaftly greater value than that of the foregoing. But there is no country in which the whole annual produce is employed in maintaining the induftrious. The idle every where confume a great part of it; and according to the different proportions
BOOK in which it is annually divided between those two different orders of people, its ordinary or average value muft either annually increafe, or diminish, or continue the fame from one year to another.
Of the Natural and Market Price of Commodities.
HERE is in every fociety or neighbourhood an ordinary or average rate both of wages and profit in every different employment of labour and flock. This rate is naturally regulated, as I fhall fhow hereafter, partly by the general circumftances of the fociety, their riches or poverty, their advancing, ftationary, or declining condition; and partly by the particular nature of each employment.
There is likewife in every fociety or neigh bourhood an ordinary or average rate of rent, which is regulated too, as I fhall show hereafter, partly by the general circumftances of the fociety or neighbourhood in which the land is fituated, and partly by the natural or improved fertility of the land.
Thefe ordinary or average rates may be called the natural rates of wages, profit, and rent, at the time and place in which they commonly prevail.
When the price of any commodity is neither more nor less than what is fufficient to pay the