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7. What should be understood by an excessive increase of population ? And what are the causes that tend to promote or prevent such excess ?
8. Mr. Malthus's doctrine has been censured as impugning the arrangements of Providence ? State the arguments by which this has been maintained, and the answers they admit of.
DR. HANCOCK. 9. On what does the rate of wages depend ?
10. Apply the theory you adopt to explain the different rates of wages in Melbourne, New York, London, Liverpool, Dublin, Galway, and Calcutta.
11. On what does the rate of profits depend?
12. Apply the theory you adopt to explain the different rates of profit in the places just mentioned.
13. Is the conversion of circulating into fixed capital beneficial or injurious to the labouring classes, when the consequent improvements cheapen production and yield fair profits ?
14. What economic mistake was involved in the attempt to enlist recruits for the British army in the United States ?
15. One of the proposals for ameliorating the condition of the working classes is to make them partners with their employers in the results of their industry. What would be the effect of such partnerships on the condition of the labourer, on that of the employer, and on the cost of production of goods manufactured under such a system?
1. By what mines is the price of precious metals regulated, according to Adam Smith ?
2. Is he right or wrong in that theory?
3. What are Adam Smith's opinions and arguments respecting a law to limit the maximum rate of interest ?
4. What misapprehension of a matter of fact pervades his arguments on this subject?
5. How does Adam Smith infer from the difference of wages between winter and summer that wages are not at their minimum ?
6. Is that argument sound ?
DR. HANCOCK. 7. Is there any, and, if any, what economic difference between a bet on a horse-race and a speculation of buying and selling funds or goods for the chance of a rise ?
8. The opponents of the large shops allege that, as the proprietors gain large profits, the public do not really get their goods cheaper in them. Is this objection well founded ?
9. What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages of having all the railways in the kingdom under the management of a Government department, and which preponderate?
10. If parliamentary title and a speedy enforcement of payment of incumbrances were made perpetual and applicable to all cases in Ireland, how would rent, wages, profits, and the rate of interest on landed security be affected?
11. Mr. Mill says (vol. i. p. 369): "The produce on the cottier system, being divided into two portions : rent, and the remuneration of the labourer; the one is evidently determined by the other. The labourer has whatever the landlord does not take: the condition of the labourer depends on the amount of rent." Verify or refute the three conclusions in the above passage, and refer to any well-known facts as to Irish cottier labourers in support of your views.
12. Mr. Mill says (ibid.) : “The effect, therefore, of this tenure [cottier, in Ireland] is to bring the principle of population to act directly on the land, and not, as in England, on capital. Rent, in this state of things, depends on the proportion between population and land. As the land is a fixed quantity, while population has an unlimited power of in. crease, unless something checks that increase, the competition for land soon forces up rent to the highest point consistent with keeping the population alive.” Support or refute the views put forward in this passage.
13. Bastiat says (Translation in “Popular Fallacies," p. 35): "In this point of view, illness, that is to say, a general obstacle to the well-being of men, is a cause of the well-being of an individual (the physician). It is thus quite true that each profession has an immediate interest in the continuation, and even in the aggravation, of the special obstacle which forms the object of its exertions.” How far are the interests of a professional man identical with, and how far are they at variance from, the interests of the community at large ?
MONDAY, June 23rd, 1856.
1. The average clause is not usually inserted in English policies of insurance against fire. Explain that proposition.
2. Show that the high tax on insurances from fire tends to prevent the introduction of the average clause.
3. The tax probably adds more than its amount to the rates charged for insurances not hazardous ?
4. Adam Smith asserts that increase of demand always in the long run lowers the price of goods; what classes of goods are exceptions to this rule, and why?
5. State the argument, and its fallacy, which led some people to suppose that an increase in the supply of gold must lower the rate of interest.
6. What are the qualities which make the precious metals the most suitable materials for money?
7. A writer of the last century states it as a set-off to the mischief done by thieves and robbers, that they give employment to smiths in making bolts and locks; what is the value of that argument ?
8. What are the chief economical objections to the establishment of an effective sinking fund ?
PROFESSOR HUSSEY WALSH.
9. According to M. Storch (“Political Economy,” Book vi. ch. xvi.), bills of exchange circulate in a contrary direction to money, being bought and sold for it like any article of merchandize. State your opinion of this doctrine, and mention whether, and, if so, to what extent, bills of exchange economize the use of money, or produce an opposite effect.
10. It is often maintained there can be no permanent excess of inconvertible papers, so long as the holders are compelled to pay interest to the issuers; for if there were a temporary excess, the paper would become less valuable, and the holders thus be induced to return it, rather than continue paying interest. In what sense is it true that money would become less valuable in such a case ?
11. In so far as it would become less valuable, whether would the profits which might be made with money borrowed at a fixed rate of interest be increased or diminished ?
12. Alluding to a fall in the price of gold, a writer in the “Spectator" (December 1, 1855, p. 1239) observes—« In Australia a still more curious complication has been witnessed. The unit (of value) there was the British sovereign; gold was discovered beneath the feet of the colonists, and then occurred one of the most remarkable phenomena in the history of Political Economy. The raw material of manufactured coin was in abundance, yet the manufactured article became dearer in consequence.” Was the phenomenon which occurred of the same or a different kind from that which in every case succeeds an unusual abundance of the raw material of any sort of manufactured article? If the same, what was it could have given rise to the supposition that it was different?
13. According to the market price of bullion at Hamburgh a few weeks ago, 13 marcs 5$ schillings purchased as much gold as that contained in a sovereign. But the rate of exchange between London and Hamburgh at the same time was one sovereign for 13m. 78. ; hence it was inferred that gold was 0.64 per cent. dearer at the former than the latter (100.64 : 100 being the proportion of 13m. 78. : 13m. 588.). Was gold bullion really 0.64 per cent. dearer at London than Hamburgh under the circumstances above stated ? If not, whether was the per-centage difference in price greater or less than 0.64.
14. It is recommended by Mr. M‘Leod, in his “ Theory and Practice of Banking,” that the Directors of the Bank of England should be compelled to adopt minimum rates of discount, to be determined by the amount of bullion in the issue department. Is there any, and, if any,
what connexion between the amount of bullion in the issue department and the means of the Bank to make loans :
15. A writer, commenting on the Bank Legislation of 1844, observed _"In 1836, when the Bank was much blamed for supplying trade too freely with money, the circulation (in the hands of the public) of the Bank of England averaged about £17,500,000, and the bullion held by it about £7,000,000. Under the new Bill, allowing £14,000,000 on securities to be added to the amount of bullion, the circulation might have been £21,000,000. What a singular regulation for diminishing the facilities for issuing money !" Show the fallacy in the preceding argument designed to prove there was necessarily less unrepresented Bank of Eng. land paper in 1836 than the amount permitted by law since 1844.
1. On whom does the duty now levied in this kingdom on foreign corn fall ?
2. *Apply to this tax Adam Smith's four maxims of taxation.
3. If the English duty on the importation of tea were abolished, could the Chinese derive the same revenue by imposing an export duty of the same amount ?
4. If the average rate of wages was ten shillings a week, and if the labourers usually spent two shillings a week on luxuries, and eight on necessaries, what would be the difference in the effects of taxing their luxuries alone at 50 per cent. the necessaries consumed by them at 121 per cent., or their entire wages at 10 per cent. ?
5. Mr. Mill holds that under certain circumstances a country can, by imposing a duty on exports, engross to itself a larger share of the benetits of foreign commerce than would fall to it in the natural course of trade. Prove or disprove this view.
6. It has been suggested that regulations protective to home industry may bring into action and play sources and powers of production in a country which, but for their existence, would lie utterly waste and unproductive. Is this opinion true, and, if it be true, is the result desirable ?
7. It has been also suggested that such regulations may act the part of a most wholesome and wise poor law, setting the poor to work at the cost of some little self-denial to the rich, and, by compelling a particular distribution of the wealth of the country, insuring a certain amount of comforts to the condition of the labouring classes. What would be the value of such a system of poor laws ? and is interference with the expenditure of the rich necessary to the well-being of the poor?
PROFESSOR HUSSEY WALSH.
8. What do you think of the opinion that Government loans are more likely to attract capital from the regular operations of domestic industry, than from rash speculations at home, or foreign investments, because greater profits are expected in the latter than the former ?
9. Do you agree with M. Say when he asserts, that the loans of a government which does not inspire much confidence are peculiarly calculated to withdraw capital from productive employment, on account of the high interest which must be offered by such ?
10. It has been said, that if the debt of a nation really constituted so much of its wealth, the same must be true of the debts of an individual ; and hence it would follow that the more a person was indebted, the richer he would be. The two cases are not analogous ?
11. Point out the difference of the mode in which a nation is impoverished by its debt and an individual by his.
12. Mr. Edwin Hill objects to our present monetary system, because the same commodity “gold, is used both to measure the value of the claim (i. e. any pecuniary claim) and to effect its payment; and, being thus employed as the medium of payment, it follows that its value can nowise escape the disturbing influence of changes in the quantity required wherewith to make payments”-—("Principles of Currency,” p. 14). State your grounds for adopting or rejecting the conclusion, that the value of a currency would be rendered less variable if we ceased to employ the standard metal as a medium of exchange.
13. Adam Smith thus describes (Book 11., ch. ii.) the mode in which an over-issue of bank notes is corrected :—“Many people would immediately perceive that they had more of this paper than was necessary for transacting their business at home, and, as they could not send it abroad, they would immediately demand payment of it from the banks. When this superfluous paper was converted into gold and silver, they could easily find a use for it by sending it abroad." Is this an accurate description of the process? If not, show in what respect it is erroneous, and point out how the over-issue is corrected in reality.
14. Mr. J. S. Mill (Book 111., ch. xix., § 2, 2nd ed.) states that though the great efficiency of English labour is the chief cause why the precious metals are obtained at less cost by England than by most other countries, yet he cannot admit that it at all accounts for their being of less value. And he goes on to state that the cause of services of most description being dearer in England than on the Continent, is the less costly manner in which the poorer classes on the Continent are contented to live. Whether do you adopt Mr. Mill's explanation, or that which he rejects, as to the cause of services being dearer in England than on the Continent: