« ForrigeFortsett »
clothes, furniture, and instruments of trade which c HA P. he wants. He fells, therefore, his rude produce for money, with which he can purchase, whereever it is to be had, the manufactured produce he has occafion for. Land even replaces, in part at least, the capitals with which fiiheries and mines are cultivated. It is the produce of land which draws the fish from the waters; and it is the produce of the surface of the earth which extracts the ininerals from its bowels.
The produce of land, mines, and fisheries, when their natural fertility is equal, is in proportion to the extent and proper application of the capitals employed about them. When the capitals are equal and equally well applied, it is in proportion to their natural fertility.
In all countries where there is tolerable secu. rity, every man of common understanding will endeavour to employ whatever stock he can command, in procuring either present enjoyment or future profit. If it is employed in procuring present enjoyment, it is a stock reserved for immediate consumption. If it is employed in procaring future profit, it must procure this profit either by staying with him, or by going from him. In the one case it is a fixed, in the other it is a circulating capital. A man must be perfectly crazy who, where there is tolerable security, does not employ all the stock which he commands, whether it be his own or borrowed of other people, in fome one or other of those
In those unfortunate countries, indeed, where men are continually afraid of the violence of their superiors, they frequently bury and conceal a great part of their stock, in order to have it always at hand to carry with them to some place of safety, in case of their being threatened with any of those disasters to which they consider themselves as at all times exposed. This is said to be a common practice in Turkey, in Indoftan, and, I believe, in most other governments of Asia. It seeins to have been a common practice among our ancestors during the violence of the feudal government. Treasure-trove was in those times.considered as no contemptible part of the revenue of the greatest fovereigns in Europe. It consisted in such treasure as was found concealed in the earth, and to which no particular person could prove any right. This was regarded in those times as fo important an object, that it was always considered as belonging to the sovereign, and neither to the finder nor to the proprietor of the land, unless the right to it had been conveyed to the latter by an express clause in his charter. It was put upon the same footing with gold and silver mines, which, without a special clause in the charter, were never supposed to be comprehended in the general grant of the lands, though mines of lead, copper, tin, and coal were, as things of smaller consequence.
general Stock of the Society, or of the Expence
T has been shewn in the first Book, that the CHAP, IT
II. price of the greater part of commodities refolves itself into three parts, of which one pays the wages of the labour, another the profits of the stock, and a third the rent of the land which had been employed in producing and bringing them to market : that there are, indeed, some commodities of which the price is made up
of two of those parts only, the wages of labour, and the profits of stock: and a very few in which it confifts altogether in one, the wages of labour : but that the price of every commodity necessarily resolves itself into some one, or other, or all of these three parts ; every part of it which goes neither to rent nor to wages, being necessarily profit to somebody.
Since this is the case, it has been observed, with regard to every particular commodity, taken separately ; it must be so with regard to all the commodities which compose the whole annual produce of the land and labour of every country, taken complexly. The whole price or exchangeable value of that annual produce, must resolve itself into the fame three parts, and be parcelled out among the different inhabitants of E E 4
BOO K the country, either as the wages of their labour,
the profits of their stock, or the rent of their land.
But though the whole value of the annual produce of the land and labour of every country is thus divided among and constitutes a revenue to its different inhabitants; yet as in the rent of a private estate we distinguish between the grofs rent and the neat rent, so may we likewise in the revenue of all the inhabitants of a great country.
The gross rent of a private estate comprehends whatever is paid by the farmer; the neat rent, what remains free to the landlord, after deducting the
management, of repairs, and all other neceffary charges; or what, without hurting his estate, he can afford to place in his stock reserved for immediate consumption, or to spend upon his table, equipage, the ornaments of his house and furniture, his private enjoyments and amusements. His real wealth is in proportion, not to his gross, but to his neat rent.
The gross revenue of all the inhabitants of a great country, comprehends the whole annual produce of their land and labour; the neat revenue, what remains free to them after deducting the expence of maintaining; first, their fixed; and, secondly, their circulating capital; or what, without encroaching upon their capital, they can place in their stock reserved for immediate confumption, or spend upon their fubfiftence, conveniencies, and amusements. Their real wealth
too is in proportion, not to their gross, but to c H A P. their neat revenue.
The whole expence of maintaining the fixed capital, must evidently be excluded from the neat revenue of the society. Neither the materials neceffary for supporting their useful machines and instruments of trade, their profitable buildings, &c. nor the produce of the labour necessary for fashioning those materials into the proper form, can ever make any part of it. The price of that labour may indeed make a part of it; as the workmen so employed may place the whole value of their wages in their stock reserved for immediate consumption. But in other forts of labour, both the price and the produce go to this stock, the price to that of the workmen, the produce to that of other people, whose fubfif. tence, conveniencies, and amusements are augmented by the labour of those workmen.
The intention of the fixed capital is to increase the productive powers of labour, or to enable the same number of labourers to perform a much greater quantity of work. In a farm where all the necessary buildings, fences, drains, communications, &c. are in the most perfect good order, the fame number of labourers and labouring cattle will raise a much greater produce, than in one of equal extent and equally good ground, but not furnished with equal con. veniencies. In manufactures the same number of hands, aslifted with the best machinery, will work up a much greater quantity of goods than with more imperfect inftruments of trade. The