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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 shalt 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.
3. A small people, with a large territory, may subsist on he 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 his enjoyments, having, instead of wheat alone, or wine alone, the use of both wheat and wine.
9. Where the labor and expense of producing both commodities are known to both parties, bargains will generally be fair and equal. Where they are known to one party only, bargains will often be unequal, knowledge taking its advantage of ignorance.
10. Thus, he that carries one thousand bushels of wheat abroad to sell, may not probably obtain so great a profit thereon, as if he had first turned the wheat into manufactures, by subsisting therewith the workmen while producing those manufactures; since there are many expediting and facilitating methods of working, not generally known; and strangers to the manufactures, though they know pretty well the expense of raising wheat, are unacquainted with those short methods of working, and, thence being apt to suppose more labor employed in the manufactures than there really is, are more easily imposed on in their value, and induced to allow more for them than they are honestly worth.*
11. Thus the advantage of having manufactures in a country does not consist, as is commonly supposed, in their highly advancing the value of rough materials,