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spending less than their income; but then I conceive that other estates do at the same time diminish by the owners spending more than their income, so that when the enriched want to buy more land, they easily find lands in the hands of the impoverished, whose necessities oblige them to sell; and thus this difference is equalled. I allow also, that part of the expense of the rich is in foreign produce or manufactures, for producing which the laboring poor of other nations must be paid; but then I say, we must first pay our own laboring poor for an equal quantity of our manufactures or produce, to exchange for those foreign productions, or we must pay for them in money, which money, not being the natural produce of our country, must first be purchased from abroad, by sending out its value in the produce or manufactures of this country, for which manufactures our laboring poor are to be paid. And indeed, if we did not export more than we import, we could have no money at all. I allow farther, that there are middle men, who make a profit, and even get estates, by purchasing the labor of the poor, and selling it at advanced prices to the rich; but then they cannot enjoy that profit, or the incomes of estates, but by spending them in employing and paying our laboring poor, in some shape or other, for the products of industry. Even beggars, pensioners, hospitals, and all that are supported by charity, spend their incomes in the same manner. So that finally, as I said at first, our laboring poor receive annually the whole of the clear revenues of the nation, and from us they can have no more.
If it be said that their wages are too low, and that they ought to be better paid for their labor, I heartily wish that any means could be fallen upon to do it, consistent with their interest and happiness; but, as the cheapness of other things is owing to the plenty of those things, so the cheapness of labor is in most cases owing to the multitude of laborers, and to their underworking one another in order to obtain employment. How is this to be remedied? A law might be made to raise their wages; but, if our manufactures are too dear, they will not vend abroad, and all that part of employment will fail . unless by fighting and conquering we compel other nations to buy our goods, whether they will or no, which some have been mad enough at times to propose.
Among ourselves, unless we give our working people less employment, how can we, for what they do, pay them higher than we do? Out of what fund is the additional price of labor to be paid, when all our present incomes are, as it were, mortgaged to them? Should they get higher wages, would that make them less poor, if, in consequence, they worked fewer days of the week proportionably? I have said, a law might be made to raise their wages; but I doubt much whether it could be executed to any purpose, unless another law, now indeed almost obsolete, could at the same time be revived and enforced ; a law, I mean, that many have often heard and repeated, but few have ever duly considered. Six days shall thou labor. This is as positive a part of the commandment, as that which says, The Seventh day thou shall rest. But we remember well to observe the indulgent part, and never think of the other. Saint Monday is generally as duly kept by our working people as Sunday; the only difference is, that, instead of employing their time cheaply at church, they are wasting it expensively at the alehouse.
I am, Sir, yours, &c. Medius.
SOME GOOD WHIG PRINCIPLES.
A printed paper, of which the following is a copy, was found among Dr. Franklin's papers, endorsed by him as above. — W. T. F.
Declaration of those Rights of the Commonalty of Great Britain, without which they cannot be Free.
( It is declared,
First, That the government of this realm, and the making of laws for the same, ought to be lodged in the hands of King, Lords of Parliament, and Representatives of the whole body of the freemen of this realm.
Secondly, That every man of the commonalty (excepting infants, insane persons, and criminals) is, of common right, and by the laws of God, a freeman, and entitled to the free enjoyment of liberty.
Thirdly, That liberty, or freedom, consists in having an actual share in the appointment of those who frame the laws, and who are to be the guardians of every man's life, property, and peace; for the all of one man is as dear to him as the all of another; and the poor man has an equal right, but more need, to have representatives in the legislature than the rich one.
Fourthly, That they who have no voice nor vote in the electing of representatives, do not enjoy liberty; but are absolutely enslaved to those who have votes, and to their representatives ; for to be enslaved is to have governors whom other men have set over us, and be subject to laws made by the representatives of others, without having had representatives of our own to give consent in our behalf.
Fifthly, That a very great majority of the commonalty of this realm are denied the privilege of voting for representatives in Parliament; and, consequently, they are enslaved to a small number, who do now enjoy the privilege exclusively to themselves; but who, it may be presumed, are far from wishing to continue in the exclusive possession of a privilege, by which their fellowsubjects are deprived of common right, of justice, of liberty; and which, if not communicated to all, must speedily cause the certain overthrow of our happy constitution, and enslave us all.
And, sixthly and lastly, We also say and do assert, that it is the right of the commonalty of this realm to elect a new House of Commons once in every year, according to the ancient and sacred laws of the land; because, whenever a Parliament continues in being for a longer term, very great numbers of the commonalty, who have arrived at years of manhood since the last election, and therefore have a right to be actually represented in the House of Commons, are then unjustly deprived of that right .
TO BE EXAMINED, CONCERNING NATIONAL WEALTH.
DATED APRIL 4, 1769.
1. All food or subsistence for mankind arises from the earth or waters.
2. Necessaries of life, that are not food, and all other conveniences, have their values estimated by the proportion of food consumed while we are employed in procuring them.
VOL. II. FF
3. A small people, with a large territory, may subsist on the productions of nature, with no other labor than that of gathering the vegetables and catching the animals.
4. A large people, with a small territory, finds these insufficient, and, to subsist, must labor the earth, to make it produce greater quantities of vegetable food, suitable for the nourishment of men, and of the animals they intend to eat .
5. From this labor arises a great increase of vegetable and animal food, and of materials for clothing, as flax, wool, silk, &c. The superfluity of these is wealth. With this wealth we pay for the labor employed in building our houses, cities, &c., which are therefore only subsistence thus metamorphosed.
6. Manufactures are only another shape into which so much provisions and subsistence are turned, as were equal in value to the manufactures produced. This appears from hence, that the manufacturer does not, in fact, obtain from the employer, for his labor, more than a mere subsistence, including raiment, fuel, and shelter; all which derive their value from the provisions consumed in procuring them.
7. The produce of the earth, thus converted into manufactures, may be more easily carried to distant markets than before such conversion.
8. Fair commerce is, where equal values are exchanged for equal, the expense of transport included. Thus, if it costs A in England as much labor and charge to raise a bushel of wheat, as it costs B in France to produce four gallons of wine, then are four gallons of wine the fair exchange for a bushel of wheat, A and B meeting at half distance with their commodities to make the exchange. The advantage of this fair commerce is, that each party increases the number of