The Distribution of Wealth: Or, The Economic Laws by which Wages and Profits are Determined

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J. P. Lippincott, 1890 - Economics - 364 pages

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Page 12 - Hitherto it is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day's toil of any human being. They have enabled a greater population to live the same life of drudgery and imprisonment, and an increased number of manufacturers and others to make fortunes.
Page 330 - Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy till the moment of execution, and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do without resistance, though severely felt by them, they are never heard of by other people.
Page 122 - This impossibility of ultimately avoiding the stationary state — this irresistible necessity that the stream of human industry should finally spread itself out into an apparently stagnant sea — must have been, to the political economists of the last two generations, an unpleasing and discouraging prospect ; for the tone and tendency of their speculations goes completely to identify all that is economically desirable with the progressive state, and with that alone.
Page 131 - This perpetual consumption and reproduction of capital affords the explanation of what has so often excited wonder, the great rapidity with which countries recover from a state of devastation...
Page 122 - It must always have been seen, more or less distinctly, by political economists, that the increase of wealth is not boundless: that at the end of what they term the progressive state lies the stationary state, that all progress in wealth is but a postponement of this, and that each step in advance is an approach to it.
Page 330 - We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate.
Page 330 - They are desperate, and act with the folly and extravagance of desperate men, who must either starve or frighten their masters into an immediate compliance with their demands. The masters upon these occasions are just as clamorous upon the other side, and never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combinations of servants, laborers and journeymen.
Page 318 - Production is limited not solely by the quantity of capital and of labour, but also by the extent of the " field of employment." The field of employment for capital is twofold; the land of the country, and the capacity of foreign markets to take its manufactured commodities. On a limited extent of land, only a limited quantity of capital can find employment at a profit. As the quantity of capital approaches this limit, profit falls; when the limit is attained, profit is annihilated; and can only...
Page 308 - Must it not then be acknowledged by an attentive examiner of the histories of mankind, that, in every age and in every state in which man has existed or does now exist, The increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence...
Page 13 - ... there is collected a population in our great towns which equals in amount the whole of those who lived in England and Wales six centuries ago ; but whose condition is more destitute, whose homes are more squalid, whose means are more uncertain, whose prospects are more hopeless than those of the poorest serfs of the middle ages and the meanest drudges of the mediaeval cities.

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