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ent principles, and bear no proportion to the CHA P. quantity, the hardship, or the ingenuity of this fuppofed labour of infpection and direction. They are regulated altogether by the value of the stock employed, and are greater or smaller in proportion to the extent of this ftock. Let us fuppofe, for example, that in fome particular place, where the common annual profits of manufacturing stock are ten per cent. there are two different manufactures, in each of which twenty workmen are employed at the rate of fifteen pounds a year each, or at the expence of three hundred a year in each manufactory. Let us fuppofe too, that the coarse materials annually wrought up in the one coft only feven hundred pounds, while the finer materials in the other coft feven thoufand. The capital annually employed in the one will in this cafe amount only to one thousand pounds; whereas that employed in the other will amount to feven thousand three hundred pounds. At the rate of ten per cent. therefore, the undertaker of the one will expect an yearly profit of about one hundred pounds only; while that of the other will expect about feven hundred and thirty pounds. But though their profits are fo very different, their labour of inspection and direction may be either altogether or very nearly the fame. In many great works, almost the whole labour of this kind is committed to fome principal clerk. His wages properly exprefs the value of this labour of inspection and direction. Though in fettling them fome regard is had commonly, not only to his labour
BOOK and skill, but to the truft which is repofed in him, yet they never bear any regular proportion to the capital of which he overfees the management; and the owner of this capital, though he is thus difcharged of almoft all labour, ftill expects that his profits fhould bear a regular proportion to his capital. In the price of commodities, therefore, the profits of stock conftitute a component part altogether different from the wages of labour, and regulated by quite different principles.
In this ftate of things, the whole produce of labour does not always belong to the labourer. He muft in moft cafes fhare it with the owner of the stock which employs him. Neither is the quantity of labour commonly employed in acquiring or producing any commodity, the only circumstance which can regulate the quantity which it ought commonly to purchase, command, or exchange for. An additional quantity, it is evident, must be due for the profits of the stock which advanced the wages and furnished the materials of that labour.
As foon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never fowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce. The wood of the foreft, the grafs of the field, and all the natural fruits of the earth, which, when land was in common, coft the labourer only the trouble of gathering them, come, even to him, to have an additional price fixed upon them. He must then pay for the licence to
gather them; and muft give up to the landlord c a portion of what his labour either collects or produces. This portion, or, what comes to the fame thing, the price of this portion, conftitutes the rent of land, and in the price of the greater part of commodities makes a third component part.
The real value of all the different component parts of price, it must be obferved, is measured by the quantity of labour which they can, each of them, purchase or command. Labour meafures the value not only of that part of price which refolves itself into labour, but of that which refolves itself into rent, and of that which refolves itself into profit.
In every fociety the price of every commodity finally refolves itself into fome one or other, or all of those three parts; and in every improved fociety, all the three enter more or iefs, as component parts, into the price of the far greater part of commodities.
In the price of corn, for example, one part pays the rent of the landlord, another pays the wages or maintenance of the labourers and labouring cattle employed in producing it, and the third pays the profit of the farmer. Thefe three parts feem either immediately or ultimately to make up the whole price of corn. A fourth part, it may perhaps be thought, is neceffary for replacing the ftock of the farmer, or for compenfating the wear and tear of his labouring cattle, and other inftruments of husbandry. But it must be confidered that the price of any
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BOOK inftrument of husbandry, fuch as a labouring horfe, is itself made up of the fame three parts; the rent of the land upon which he is reared, the labour of tending and rearing him, and the profits of the farmer who advances both the rent of this land, and the wages of this labour. Though the price of the corn, therefore, may pay the price as well as the maintenance of the horse, the whole price ftill refolves itself either immediately or ultimately into the fame three parts of rent, labour, and profit.
In the price of flour or meal, we must add to the price of the corn, the profits of the miller, and the wages of his fervants; in the price of bread, the profits of the baker, and the wages of his fervants; and in the price of both, the labour of transporting the corn from the house of the farmer to that of the miller, and from that of the miller to that of the baker, together with the profits of those who advance the wages of that labour.
The price of flax refolves itself into the fame three parts as that of corn. In the price of linen we must add to this price the wages of the flax-dreffer, of the fpinner, of the weaver, of the bleacher, &c. together with the profits of their respective employers.
As any particular commodity comes to be more manufactured, that part of the price which refolves itself into wages and profit, comes to be greater in proportion to that which refolves itself into rent. In the progrefs of the manufacture, not only the number of profits increase,
but every fubfequent profit is greater than the CHAP. foregoing; because the capital from which it is derived must always be greater. The capital which employs the weavers, for example, muft be greater than that which employs the spinners; because it not only replaces that capital with its profits, but pays, befides, the wages of the weavers; and the profits must always bear fome proportion to the capital.
In the most improved focieties, however, there are always a few commodities of which the price refolves itself into two parts only, the wages of labour, and the profits of ftock; and a ftill fmaller number, in which it confifts altogether in the wages of labour. In the price of sea-fish, for example, one part pays the labour of the fishermen, and the other the profits of the capital employed in the fishery. Rent very feldom makes any part of it, though it does fometimes, as I fhall fhew hereafter. It is otherwise, at least through the greater part of Europe, in river fisheries. A falmon fishery pays a rent, and rent, though it cannot well be called the rent of land, makes a part of the price of a falmon as well as wages and profit. In fome parts of Scotland a few poor people make a trade of gathering, along the fea-fhore, thofe little variegated ftones commonly known by the name of Scotch Pebbles. The price which is paid to them by the ftone-cutter is altogether the wages of their labour; neither rent nor profit make any part of it.