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species of profits to the competition arising from the demand and supply of the article in the market. I venture also to deny that there is, upon the average, any ercess whatsoever in the price of the products of lands above the cost of production.” It is certainly true, that the sum that can be paid in rent must be determined by that which remains in the hands of the immediate cultivator from the sale of his produce, after all his expenses of production, and his fair profits, are paid. So must the interest of a manufacturer's capital be paid from the sum which remains to the retailer, after deducting his necessary expenses and profit. But surely this interest can never be called “the ercess of price ABOVE the cost of production;” because it is, in fact, the bare return of a part of that cost. Profit is indeed made up of such excess in price; and when that profit can be increased at the will of the manufacturer, a monopoly may be said to take place, because a price is then superadded beyond that which a fair balance of demand and supply would otherwise indicate. But from the mature of agricultural products, no such increase can take place on the profits accruing from them, and, consequently, on rent which is taken out of them, and the amount of which depends upon them. This will, I think, appear from the following considerations. It is obvious that, after the first appropriation of land, that is, after the first emergence of society from the savage state, a man cannot become the proprietor of a tract of ground without paying a capital sum for the property, either in clearing, draining, embanking, and other objects necessary to be fulfilled previous to the actual labours of the cultivator of raw produce; or else to replace the capital, and reward the skill and industry, of the original proprietor who performed those operations, together with his fair profits. This constitutes what may be called the price of land as distinct from the mere cost of cultivation, or expenses of the actual occupier. It is the interest of the sum thus paid as the price of land, which constitutes the rent of land, and which must of course be added to the mere expense of cultivation, before a fair calculation of the whole cost of production, or of raising raw produce for the market, can be made. And I venture to assert that, so far from being a monopoly, competition and other causes have always kept rents so comparatively low, as to afford upon the average of landed property a diminished REAL remuneration to the landlord or receiver of the rent as society has advanced; I mean, that the interest of the sum originally expended in the purchase and clearing of the soil of any given country, will afford to its receivers a continually decreasing proportion of the comforts and enjoyments of life, as those comforts and enjoyments are augmented by the progress of society, and of commercial and manufacturing prosperity; and that the landlord will consequently sink in the scale of society. It is notorious that, in rich and commercial countries, a capitalist, who can make 10, 15, or 20 per cent. in commerce, and 5 per cent, without any cost or labour, in the public funds of his country, often procures little more than 3 per cent. interest upon capital invested in land with a view to rent. This is at least one very singular feature in the chain of proof, that the rent of land is fixed upon the same principles with a monopoly price of goods. In truth, it appears that land, so far from paying from its produce, as society advances, a continually increasing substantial surplus above the whole cost of production, including the capital originally laid out, (although it may not perhaps pay a continually decreasing actual profit,) does certainly return a profit, bearing a continually decreasing proportion to the profits of other stock and labour. For, in the first place, it may be observed, that when the first proprietor originally cleared the ground in the early stage of society, and during the whole continuance of the agricultural state, the produce of land being the only profitable employ. ment of capital and of labour, the owner of any quantity of it, although his money income might be small, could of course command a larger comparative portion of labour and capital, than when other profitable employments compete with him for the possession of them. And again, when the commercial and manufacturing career is entered upon, and the capital created by them is sometimes vested in land, although the sum in money paid for the price of an estate may be much less in nominal amount than the land would sell for in the following century, when the society has made further progress, and other modes of investing capital become more numerous; yet the actual or real value of that smaller sum of money, or the comparison it bears to the general value of labour and commodities, may, and in truth certainly will, be greater than that of the larger sum subsequently paid as the price of the estate, because the tompetition for capital, from other sources of employment, would of course bring down the actual value of income derived from land as compared with other profits. It appears indeed that the pleasure and consequence derived from the possession of land will make the capitalist content with a smaller return from it than from other sources of profit. Again, although an estate, which originally cost 10,000l. in money, when the produce of the estate only sold in the market at such a price as afforded a rent of 350l., money being scarce and taxes low, may now pay a nominal rent of 1000l. a year, yet the landlord, from the high price of labour and commodities, arising from the commercial competitors and the pressure of taxation, may now be a poorer man, notwithstanding the nominal increase of his income; and if the country, during the interval in which this increase of rent has been accumulating, has been making a rapid career in commercial wealth, he certainly will be at least comparatively a poorer man, because the competition against him will have been continually increasing. Nor are these conclusions shaken by the obvious consideration that rents must sustain a real rise upon the old lands which have been actually cultivated, before due encouragement can be given to the clearing and cultivation of unreclaimed soil of an inferior staple. For if the profits of other sources of industry have sustained, from the same causes, a still greater real elevation; that is, if they will exchange for a still larger proportion of labour and commodities than this partial increase in the rent of land will purchase, which in a rapidly improving country would probably be the case, it is obvious that the rise in this last, though real as far as it goes, does not give the landed proprietor any substantial elevation in the scale of society. On the contrary, his condition is comparatively depressed, because he becomes entitled to a smaller proportion of the general wealth of the country. With respect to the general mass of landholders, there cannot be a doubt that they possess greater advantages with low rents and few burthens, than with increased rents and high taxes. In England, for the last 20 years, rents in general have borne a far less proportion to the gross produce of the land, than they did before that period; a fact perfectly conclusive of the present argument. Surely, when we take all these circumstances into consideration, it is impossible to conceive any epithet less justly applicable to the rent of land than a monopoly price, since it is open to fair competition, and is only areasonable, and frequently a very low, remuneration for capital expended, and consequently is not caused by the excess of price above the whole cost of production, but is only a portion of that cost. Neither does Mr. Malthus's exposition of the nature of the rent of land appear much more satisfactory. Admitting it to be caused by the excess of price above the cost of production, he ascribes this fact to the fertility of the earth, affording a surplus produce of the necessaries of life beyond the wants of the cultivator; * and as this surplus produce is of a nature (according to his theory) to create a certain demand for itself by raising up a population to feed upon it, the market consequently cannot be over stocked;f so that the very abundance of the produce, by raising up competitors for it, tends to keep up the price, and consequently to afford an excess of profit above the cost of production, which is said to constitute rent. With respect to the fact upon which this theory rests, viz. that a surplus produce of the neces

* Inquiry, &c. p. 13. t The present state of the English corn-market affords a practical answer to this supposition.

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