| Wednesday. March. 30. 1763.
continues to illustrate former, etc.—
In yesterdays lecture I shewed you how the division of labour increases the opulence of a nation, which may be justly said to arise from it. If ten men can work in a day 40 times as much as a man by himself, every one does then 4 times what he would by himself; consequently he can afford to sell his good 1/4 part cheaper than formerly; that is, he can exchange the superfluous produce of his labour for a fourth of the former value. In some the encrease is far greater; in the instance already mentiond, a man who should perform all the operations of mining, smelting, forging, splitting, heading, etc. would hardly fournist ten pins in a year, and if his maintenance be valued at 6£, which is very moderate for such an injenious man, he could not sell a pin for less than ten shills. But if by having the wire ready made (as the pin–makers generally have it from Sweden), by which the work has been divided betwixt 5 or 6, the miner, the smelter, etc., and he makes another, if by this means he should be able to make 10 pins in a day, he will then in one day do | what was formerly a years work, that is, 365 times the former, or to use round numbers 300. If again the pin maker by dividing the work amongst 18 different hands, as it is where well carry’d on, can have work done by the whole, even the slowest which is the forming of the head, to the amount of 2000 pins per man, this is 200 times what was done in the former, and multiplying this into 800, the former number, we have 60,000 times as much work done as when it was all done by one man. So that here he can afford his pins for 1/60000 of what he did at first and have as much to himself. And if he should sell them a little dearer, as will be easily allowed, he will have a considerable profit and the work will be cheaper. Thus it is that labour becomes dearer when at the same time work is cheaper; and these two things, which are vulgarily reckond incompatible, are not only altogether compatible but allmost necessarily connected. Labour is not dear or cheap according to the moneyed price payd for it. If 1far or 1d can get a great quantity of the necessarys of life, a farthing or 1d is high wages, that is, if for the moneyd price | of his labour he can get a great deal of goods or provisions. A Mogull for 1/2d can get more rice than a man can eat in a day, while the West–Indian labourer can hardly lay by any thing out of 2sh 6d or 3sh per diem, which is his wages. The price of labour is not here so great as in the former case. The opulence of a state depends on the proportion betwixt the moneyd price of labour and that of the commodities to be purchased by it. If it can purchase a great quantity then it is opulent; if a small then it is poor.
I shewed how the division of labour increases the work performed from three causes: dexterity acquired by doing one simple thing, the saving of time, and the invention of machines which is occasioned by it. In the instance above mentioned a man can do in one sence 60000 or at the other 6000 times as much by this acquired dexterity. —The same appears by another instance mentioned, wher<e> the man who makes nothing but nails can do more work by three times than one who has | wrought with all the tools of the smith but has not particularly applied to nail–making but only as a by work, and 100 times what one will do who never has tried it. The odds here is not nearly so great by the division of labour as in button, pin, or tile making. The operation is here still pretty complex; he blows the fire, heats the iron and mends the fire, and changes his position and his tools severall times, which prevents his ever acquiring that perfect dexterity which the workmen in the other trades do whose work is constantly one and the same simple operation. The advantage gaind in point of time was explained by the instance of the weaver and the wright, and this it is which occasions the slothfullness of the country labourer.—That the originall invention of machines is owing to the division of labour is not to be doubted. One whose thoughts all center on one piece of work will be at pains to contrive how to do this in the cleverest and easiest manner. The inventions of the mill or the plow are so old that no history gives an[an]y account of them. | But if we go into the work house of any manufacturer in the new works at Sheffiel<d>, Manchester, or Birmingham, or even some towns in Scotland, and enquire concerning the machines, they will tell you that such or such an one was invented by some common workman. — —
No human prudence is requisite to make this division. We are told indeed that Sesostris made a law that every one should for ever adhere to his fathers possession, and the same rule has been made in other eastern countries. The reason of this constitution was that they feared lest, every one endeavouring to advance himself into what we call a gentlemanny character, the lower trades should be deserted. But in this generall scramble for preeminence, when some get up others must necessarily fall undermost, and these may supply the lower trades as well as any others. The naturall course of things will in this manner either give or leave enough of hands to the lower professions; and if things be allowed to take their naturall course there is no great danger that any branch | of trade should be either over or under stocked with hands. The constitution of Sesostris also did not endeavour to introduce it but to preserve the division of trades, which he without reason was afraid would not be maintaind by the causes which had produced it. I shewed also how the disposition to truck, barter, and exchange is the foundation of this division.—Twas thus that a savage, finding he could by making arrows and disposing of them obtain more venison than by hunting, became an arrow maker. The certainty of disposing of the su<r>plus produce of his labour in this way is what ena<b>led men to seperate into diffrenet trades of ev<e>ry sort. This disposition is the ocasion (as I said<)> of the difference of genius rather than the vice versa. Dogs and others more various make no benefit by their variety of disposition. It is the certainty that his produce will enable him to purchase all that he may want which enables one to seperate himself to one business; a shoe maker for his shoes can get every thing he wants. The whole produce is as it were brought into the common stock, and thence arises | the benefit of it, as ever<y>thing can then be purchased for every thing if it be good of its sort.
If we should enquire into the principle in the human mind on which this disposition of trucking is founded, it is clearly the naturall inclination every one has to persuade. The offering of a shilling, which to us appears to have so plain and simple a meaning, is in reality offering an argument to persuade one to do so and so as it is for his interest. Men always endeavour to persuade others to be of their opinion even when the matter is of no consequence to them. If one advances any thing concerning China or the more distant moon which contradicts what you imagine to be true, you immediately try to persuade him to alter his opinion. And in this manner every one is practising oratory on others thro the whole of his life.—You are uneasy whenever one differs from you, and you endeavour to persuade <?him> to be of your mind; or if you do not it is a certain degree of self command, and to this every one is breeding thro their whole lives. In this manner they acquire a certain dexterity and | adress in managing their affairs, or in other words in managing of men; and this is altogether the practise of every man in the most ordinary affairs.—This being the constant employment or trade of every man, in the same manner as the artizans invent simple methods of doing their work, so will each one here endeavour to do this work in the simplest manner. That is bartering, by which they adress themselves to the self interest of the person and seldom fail immediately to gain their end. The brutes have no notion of this; the dogs, as I mentiond, by having the same object in their view sometimes unite their labours, but never from contract. The same is seen still more strongly in the manner in which the monkeys rob an orchard at the Cape of Good Hope.—But after they have very ingeniously conveyd away the apples, as they have no contract they fight (even unto death) and leave after many dead upon the spot. They have no other way of gaining their end but by gaining ones favour by fawning and flattering. Men when nec<e>ssitated do so also, but generally apply to the stronger string of self interest.
| In treating of opulence I shall consider:
- 1stThe rule of exchange, or what it is which regulates the price of commodities.—
- 2 Money as
- 1stThe measure by which we compute the value of commodities (as measure of value<)>
- 2dThe common instrument of commerce or exchange.
- 3dlyThe causes of the slow progress of opulence, and the causes which retarded it, which are of two sorts:
- 1stThose which affect the improvement of agriculture
- 2 Those which affect the improvement of manufactures.
- 4thTaxes or publick revenue as no part of pu<b>lick law so much connects with opulence or has such an influence upon it; as ill contrived laws relating to commerce and taxes have been one great drawback upon opulence.— — —
- 5th. The effects of commerce, both good and bad, and the naturall remedies of the latter[e].—
1st Of the Price of Commodities.—
There are properly speaking two sorts of price on commodities, which tho they appear unconnected are nevertheless very closely connected.—Let us consider what it is that will induce a man to apply all his art and industry to some particular branch of business. In the first place he must be certain that by disposing of the surplus produce of his labour he will be able to procure a livelyhood. Thus before one would turn | an arrow maker he must be certain that by disposing of his arrows he will be able to support himself in the necessaries of life. He must undoubtedly have as much as will be sufficient to maintain him during the time in which he labours. But besides this he must have 2dly a compensation for the time he has bestowed in learning any trade. There are some trades which need no apprenticeship. A boy going about errands or otherwise employed sees as much of the ordinary work of a day laybourer in ploughing, ditching, mowing, etc. as must enable him, as soon as he comes to have strength, to do the work himself, and has in this manner no time lost. But a smith, a taylor, or a weaver can not learn their trade of themselves all at once. They must be content for some time to learn of a master, and during this time they must be satisfied to work to no profit either to themselves, their master, or any one else. They will in this time destroy or spoil a good deal of materialls before they can do the work in any tollerable manner; for these also he must recompense his master, which occasions an apprentice fee. During all this time he can do nothing to his own maintenance, but must be maintaind by his parents. Now | the life of a young man when he leaves his apprenticeship is worth at most but about 10 or 12 years purchase. His wages therefore afterwards must be such as will not only maintain him, but will in ten or 12 years time repay him this expence of his education. For this reason the longer the apprenticeship is the higher will be the wages of it. If a trade be learned by an apprenticeship, the wages will be lower than those of one which is not acquired in less than seven years. Less of human life then remains to compensate the expence of the education; if the apprenticeship be 7 years there are but 5 of the 12 remaining; and besides this the expence of the education is so much the greater. He must not only be able to maintain himself in the same manner as a day labourer, but also to make up the expence of his education. So that wages must differ according to the expence of the education requisite. Besides this other trades require some previous instruction in other arts. A smith may do well enough though he can neither read nor write, and may by | practise learn perfectly the use of his tools, tho he be not in the least acquainted with the mechanic principles on which these operations depend. But a watch maker must read and write, must understand arithmetick, a little of geometry, trigonometry, and astronomy. A weaver may in this manner by the time he is 16 or 17 be a proficient in his trade, whereas a watch maker will be 22 or 23 before he can be any way skilled in his art. He must therefore be highly rewarded of not being compensated before his death. Others have not only a tedious education which gives them the risque of dying ere their education is repayed, but have likeways the hazard that though they shall live never so long, they shall never make any thing by it. Thus in the study of the law not one out of 20 ever are in a way to get back the money they have laid out. Few have abilities and knowledge sufficient to make themselves any way eminent or distinguished or usefull to the peopl<e>. The ten or twelve | therefore who come into business must have wage<s> not only to compensate the expence of their education, which is very great as a man must be 30 years or thereabouts before he can be of any service as a lawyer, but also the risque of not being ever able to make any thing by it. The temptation to engage in this or any other of the liberall arts is rather the respect, credit, and emin<en>ce it gives one than the profit of it. Even in England where they are more highly rewarded than any where else, if we should compute them according to the same rule as that of a smith or other artizan they would be still rather too low. But the honour and credit which attends on them is to be considered as a part of the wages and a share of the reward. This is therefore the rule of the naturall price of labour. When the wages are so proportiond as that they are exactly sufficient to maintain the person, to recompense the expence of education, the risque of dying before this is made up, | and the hazard that tho one lives he shall never be able to beccome any way serviceeable, they are then at their naturall rate, and the temptation is great enough to induce any one to apply to it. If the wages are lower than this they are below their naturall rate and there is no temptation to induce any one to apply to it; and e contra if they be higher than this.