Elements of Political Economy by James Mill (1844)

Chapter 2. Distribution
Section II. Wages

Production is performed by labour. Labour, however, receives the raw material which it fashions, and the machinery by which it is aided, from capital, or more properly speaking, these articles are the capital.

The labourer is sometimes the owner of all the capital which his labour requires. The shoemaker or tailor has, sometimes, not only the tools with which he works, but also the leather or cloth upon which his labour is employed. In all cases of that description, the commodity is wholly the property of the man by whose labour it is prepared.

In the greater number of cases, however, especially in the more improved stages of society, the labourer is one person, the owner of the capital another. The labourer has neither raw material nor tools. These requisites are provided for him by the capitalist. For making this provision, the capitalist, of course, expects a reward. As the commodity, which was produced by the shoemaker, when the capital was his own, belonged wholly to himself, and constituted the whole of his reward, both as labourer and capitalist, so, in this case, the commodity belongs to the labourer and capitalist together. When prepared, the commodity, or the value of it, is to be shared between them. The reward to both must be derived from the commodity, and the reward of both makes up the whole of the commodity.

Instead, however, of waiting till the commodity is produced, and abiding all the delay and uncertainties of the market in which the value of it is realized, it has been found to suit much better the convenience of the labourers to receive their share in advance. The shape under which it has been found most convenient for all parties that they should receive it, is that of wages. When that share of the commodity, which belongs to the labourer, has been all received in the shape of wages, the commodity itself belongs to the capitalist, he having, in reality, bought the share or the labourer and paid for it in advance.

1. That the rate of wages depends on the proportion between Population, and Employment, in other words, Capital

We come now to the question as to what determines the share of the labourer, or the proportion in which the commodity, or its worth, is divided between him and the capitalist. Whatever the share of the labourer, such is the rate of wages; and, vice versa whatever the rate of wages, such is the share of the commodity, or commodity's worth, which the labourer receives.

It is very evident, that the share of the two parties is the subject of a bargain between them; and if there is a bargain, it is not difficult to see on what the terms of the bargain must depend. All bargains, when made in freedom, are determined by competition, and the terms alter according to the state of supply and demand.

Let us begin by supposing that there is a certain number of capitalists, with a certain quantity of food, raw material, and instruments, or machinery; that there is also a certain number of labourers; and that the proportion, in which the commodities produced are divided between them, has fixed itself at some particular point.

Let us next suppose, that the labourers have increased in number one half, without any increase in the quantity of capital. There is the same quantity of the requisites for the employment of labour; that is, of food, tools, and material, as there was before; but for every 100 labourers there are now 150. There will be 50 men, therefore, in danger of being left out of employment. To prevent their being left out of employment they have but one resource; they must endeavour to supplant those who have forestalled the employment; that is, they must offer to work for a smaller reward. Wages, therefore, decline.

If we suppose, on the other hand, that the quantity of capital has increased, while the number of labourers remains the same, the effect will be reversed. The capitalists have a greater quantity than before of the means of employment; of capital, in short; from which they wish to derive advantage. To derive this advantage they must have more labourers. To obtain them, they also have but one resource, to offer higher wages. But the masters by whom the labourers are now employed are in the same predicament, and will of course offer higher to induce them to remain. This competition is unavoidable, and. the necessary effect of it is a rise of wages.

It thus appears, that, if population increases, without an increase of capital, wages fall; and that, if capital increases, without an increase of population, wages rise. It is evident, also, that if both increase, but one faster than the other, the effect will be the same as if the one had not increased at all, and the other had made an increase equal to the difference. Suppose, for example, that population has increased one-eighth, and capital one-eighth; this is the same thing as if they had stood still, with regard to the effect upon labour. But suppose that, in addition to the above-mentioned one-eighth, population bad increased another eighth, the effect, in that case, upon wages, would be the same as if capital had not increased at all, and population had increased one-eighth.

Universally, then, we may affirm, that, other things remaining the same, if the ratio which capital and population bear to one another remains the same, wages will remain the same; if the ratio which capital bears to population increases, wages will rise; if the ratio which population bears to capital increases, wages will fall.

From this law, clearly understood, it is easy to trace the circumstances which, in any country, determine the condition of the great body of the people. If that condition is easy and comfortable, all that is necessary to keep it so, is, to make capital increase as fast as population; or, on the other hand, to prevent population from increasing faster than capital. If that condition is not easy and comfortable, it can only be made so, by one of two methods; either by quickening the rate at which capital increases, or retarding the rate at which population increases; augmenting, in short, the ratio which the means of employing the people bear to the number of people.

If it were the natural tendency of capital to increase faster than population, there would be no difficulty in preserving a prosperous condition of the people. If, on the other hand, it were the natural tendency of population to increase faster than capital, the difficulty would be very great. There would be a perpetual tendency in wages to fall. The progressive fall of wages would produce a greater and a greater degree of poverty among the people, attended with its inevitable consequences, misery and vice. As poverty, and its consequent misery increased, mortality would also increase. Of a numerous family born, a certain number only, from want of the means of well-being, would be reared. By whatever proportion the population tended to increase faster than capital, such a proportion of those who were born would die: the ratio of increase in capital and population would then remain the same, and the fall of wages would proceed no farther.

That population has a tendency to increase faster, than, in most places, capital has actually increased, is proved, incontestably, by the condition of the population in most parts of the globe. ln almost all countries, the condition of the great body of the people is poor and miserable. This would have been impossible, if capital had increased faster than population. In that case wages must have risen; and high wages would have placed the labourer above the miseries of want.

This general misery of mankind is a fact, which can be accounted for, upon one only of two suppositions: either that there is a natural tendency in population to increase faster than capital, or that capital has, by some means, been prevented from increasing so fast as it has a tendency to increase. This, therefore, is an inquiry of the highest importance.

2. Proof of the tendency of Population to increase rapidly

The natural tendency of population to increase is to be collected from two sets of circumstances; the physiological constitution of the female of the human species; and the statements respecting the rate of increase in different countries.

The facts respecting the physiological constitution of the human female are well ascertained, and are indubitable grounds of conclusion. The statements respecting the rate of increase in different countries will be found to be, either suppositions with respect to matters of fact, upon the conformity of which suppositions to any real matters of fact we can have no assurance; or statements of facts, of such a nature, as prove nothing with regard to the points in dispute.

That the possible rate of increase in the numbers of mankind depends upon the constitution of the female, will not be disputed. The facts, which are fully ascertained in regard to the female of the human species, and the inferences which the sciences of physiology and comparative anatomy enable us to derive from the analogy of other animals, whose anatomy and physiology resemble those of the human species, afford the means of very satisfactory conclusions on this subject.

The females of those species of animals, whose period and mode of gestation are similar to those of the female of our own species, and which bring forth one at a birth, are capable, when placed in the most favourable circumstances, of a birth every year, from the time when the power of producing begins, till the time when it ends, omitting one year now and then, which, at the most, amounts to a very small proportion on the whole.

The suckling of the infant, in the case of the female of the human species, if continued more than three months, has a tendency to postpone the epoch of conception beyond the period of a year. This, it is to be observed, is the only physiological peculiarity which authorizes an inference of any difference in the frequency of the births in the case of the female of the human species, and in that of those other species to which we have referred.

To reason correctly, we should make an allowance for that peculiarity. Let such ample allowance be made as will include all interruptions; let us say that one birth in two years is natural to the female of the human species. In Europe, to which we may at present confine our observations, the period of childbearing in women extends, from sixteen or seventeen, to forty-five, years of age. Let us make still more allowance, and say it extends only from twenty to forty years of age. In that period, at the allowance of two years to one birth, there is time for ten births, which may be regarded as not more than the number natural to the female of the human species.

Under favourable circumstances, the mortality among children is very small. Mortality among the children of very poor people is unavoidable, from want of the necessary means of health. Among the children of people in easy circumstances, who know and practise the rules for the preservation of health, the mortality is small; and there can be no doubt, that, under more skilful modes of managing the food, and clothing, the air, the exercise, and education of children, even this mortality would be greatly diminished.

We may conclude, therefore, that, in the most favourable circumstances, ten births are the measure of fecundity in the female of the human species; and that of the children born a small proportion would die before the age of maturity. For occasional instances of barrenness, and for this small degree of mortality, let us make much more than the necessary allowance, a deduction of one-half; and say, That every human pair, united at an early age, commanding a full supply of things necessary for physical welfare, exempt from the necessity of oppressive labour, and sufficiently skilled to make the best use of their circumstances for preventing disease and mortality among themselves and their children, would, one with another, rear five children. If this is the case, it is needless to exhibit an accurate calculation, to show that population would double itself in some moderate portion of years. It is evident, at once, that it would double itself in a small number of years.

To meet a conclusion so well established as this, recourse has been had to certain tables, respecting population, and respecting births and deaths, in various countries. The reasoning from these tables evades the point in dispute. I know no tables which exhibit any thing, even if we give them, what they never deserve, credit for exactness, except the mere fact with regard to the state of increase. They show, or pretend to show, whether a certain population is increasing or not increasing; and, if increasing, at what rate. But, if it appeared, from such tables, that the population of every country in the world were stationary, no man, capable of reasoning, would infer, that the human race is incapable of increasing. Every body knows the fact, that in the greater number of countries, the population is stationary, or nearly so. But what does this prove, so long as we are not informed, by what causes it is prevented from increasing? We know well, that there are two causes, by which it may be prevented from increasing, how great soever its natural tendency to increase. The one is poverty; under which, let the number born be what it may, all but a certain number undergo a premature destruction. The other is prudence; by which either marriages are sparingly contracted, or care is taken that children, beyond a certain number, shall not be the fruit. It is useless to inform us, that there is little or no increase of population in certain countries, if we receive not, at the same time, accurate information of the degree in which poverty, or prudence, or other causes, operate to prevent it.

That population, therefore, has such a tendency to increase as would enable it to double itself in a small number of years, is a proposition resting on the strongest evidence, which nothing worth the name of evidence has been brought to controvert.

3. Proof that capital has a less tendency than Population to increase rapidly

We come next to consider the tendency which capital may have to increase. If that should increase as fast as population, along with every labourer produced, the means of employment and subsistence would also be produced; and no degradation of the great body of the people would be the consequence.

Though it is found, where property is secure, that there is a considerable disposition in mankind to save; sufficient, where vast consumption is not made by the government, and where the difficulties of production are not very great, to make capital progressive; this disposition is still so weak, in almost all the situations in which human beings have ever been placed, as to make the increase of capital slow.

The annual produce is always distributed in such a manner, that, either the great body of the people are liberally provided with what is necessary for subsistence and enjoyment, when of course a smaller portion goes to swell the incomes of the rich; or, the great body of the people are reduced to mere necessaries, when there is naturally a class of people whose incomes are large. To one or other of these two cases the state of every community approximates.

1. In the case, in which there is a class reduced to necessaries, and a class of rich, it is evident that the first have not the means of saving. A class of rich men, in the middle of a class of poor, are not apt to save. The possession of a large fortune generally whets the appetite for immediate enjoyment. And the man who is already in possession of a fortune, yielding him all the enjoyments which fortune can command, has little inducement to save. In such a state of the social order, any rapid increase of capital is opposed by causes which are in general irresistible.

2. We are next to consider the state of the social order, in which a large share of the annual produce is distributed among the great body of the people. In that situation, neither the class which labours, nor that which is maintained without labouring, has any forcible motives to save.

When a man possesses, what we are now supposing possessed by the great body of the people, food, clothing, lodging, and all other things sufficient not only for comfortable, but pleasurable existence, he possesses the means of all the substantial enjoyments of human life. The rest is in a great measure fancy. There are two sets of men; one, in whom the reasoning power is strong, and who are able to resist a present pleasure for a greater one hereafter; another, in whom it is weak, and who can seldom resist the charm of immediate enjoyment. Of course, it is not in the latter class that the motive to save can be expected to prevail. The class, on the other hand, in whom reason is sufficiently strong to form a due estimate of pleasures, cannot fail to perceive that those which they can obtain by adding penny to penny, after all the rational desires are satisfied, are not equal to the pleasures which, in the circumstances we have supposed, they must relinquish to obtain them. Both the higher and the lower principles of our nature are in such circumstances opposed to accumulation. So far, as to the strength of the motive which, in the supposed circumstances, can operate upon the labouring class.

What remains of the annual produce, after the share of the labouring class is deducted, is either distributed in large portions among a small number of very rich men, or among a large number of men of moderate fortunes.

We have already examined the state of the motives to accumulate when fortunes are large; and have found that it never can be such as to produce very considerable effects. We have now to examine the state of the motives to accumulate, in a society, in which there is a great number of moderate fortunes, without the prevalence of large. In the way of physical enjoyment, these fortunes yield every thing which the largest fortunes can bestow. There are only two motives, therefore, which, in this situation, can counteract the strong tendency to immediate enjoyment: either the desire of a command over the sentiments of mankind; or the wish to make a provision for children.

The strength of the motive to command by riches the favourable sentiments of mankind will depend upon the effect they are calculated to produce. That is different, in different states of society. In the state of society, supposed in the present case, men are distributed into two classes: men of easy but moderate fortunes; and a well paid body of labourers and artisans.

The first class; men with fortunes equal to all the purposes not only of independence, and of physical enjoyment, but of taste and elegance, and who at the same time constitute the governing portion of society, giving the tone to its sentiments and amusements; are not in the situation of men whose imaginations are apt to be dazzled by the glare of superior riches. The persons belonging to the second, or labouring class, are cringing and servile, where the frown of the rich man is terrible, and his little favours important: but when they are placed in circumstances which impart the feeling of independence, and give them opportunity for the cultivation of their minds, they are little affected by the signs of wealth. This, therefore, is a state of society in which the possession of great riches gives little command over the sentiments of others, and cannot constitute a powerful motive for saving.

With respect to the provision for children, if a man feels no great desire to make a larger than the ordinary moderate fortune for himself, he feels as little desire at the least to make it for his children. The provision, which he desires to make for them, can only, therefore, be such as to place them in the same situation which, is held by himself. He will be anxious to afford to them the same means for beginning life advantageously, as were afforded, or would have been desirable, to himself. To this extent the desire of making a provision for children might be expected to be very general, and it would ensure a certain moderate increase of capital. This may therefore be considered, as, perhaps, the most favourable state of society for accumulation; with the exception of those cases in which colonists, with all the knowledge and power of civilized life, are transported into a country uninhabited, or nearly so, and have the power of cultivating without limit the most, productive species of land. These are coincidences so extraordinary, and so rare, that, in tracing the general laws of human society, it is only necessary to show that they are not forgotten.

These considerations seem to prove that more than moderate effects can rarely flow from the motives, to accumulation. But the proof, that population has a tendency to increase faster than capital, does not depend upon this foundation, strong as it is. The tendency of population to increase, whatever it may be, is at any rate an equable tendency. At what rate soever it has increased at any one time, it may be expected to increase at an equal rate, if placed in equally favourable circumstances, at any other time. The case with capital is the reverse.

Whether, after land of superior quality has been exhausted, capital is applied to new land of inferior quality, or in successive doses with diminished returns upon the same land, the produce of it is continually diminishing in proportion to its increase. It the return to capital is, however, continually decreasing, the annual fund, from which savings are made, is continually diminishing. The difficulty of making savings is thus continually augmented, and at last they must totally cease.

It thus sufficiently appears, that there is a tendency in population to increase faster than capital. If this be established, it is of no consequence to the present purpose to inquire about the rapidity of the increase. How slow soever the increase of population, provided that of capital is still slower, wages will be reduced so low that a portion of the population will regularly die of want. Neither can this dreadful consequence be averted otherwise than by the use of means to prevent the increase of capital from falling short of that of population.

4. That forcible means employed to make capital increase faster than its natural tendency would not produce desirable effects

There are two modes in which artificial means may be employed to make population and capital keep pace together: expedients may be sought, either to restrain the tendency of population to increase; or to accelerate beyond its natural pace the increase of capital.

The principal means, by which legislatures have it in their power to alter the course of human actions, is by rewards and punishments. Neither is very applicable to the purpose of counteracting the tendency in the human species to multiply. Suppose a law were proposed for annexing penalties to the father and mother of a child, the circumstances of whom were inadequate to its maintenance; it would not be easy to find a mode of punishing, which would be equal to the effect, without producing almost as much uneasiness in society as that which it would propose to remedy: neither would it be very possible to ascertain and define the state of circumstances which is, and that which is not, adequate to the maintenance of one, or two, or any other number of children. To apply rewards to the case of not having any children, in such a manner as to operate usefully upon the principle of population, would be still more difficult.

Legislation, in cases ill adapted to its direct, can sometimes produce considerable effects by its indirect operation; as when a desire, which gratifies itself in a hurtful course of action, and cannot easily be counteracted by reward and punishment, is drawn to gratify itself in a less hurtful or an innocent direction. If legislatures have taken measures, as they very often have done, sometimes by direct, more frequently by indirect means, to stimulate the principle of population, such mischievous legislation may be corrected.

The powerful agency of the popular sanction might in this, as in other cases, be turned to great account. If an intense degree of disapprobation were directed upon the men, who, by their folly, involved themselves, through a great family, in poverty and dependence; of approbation upon those who, by their self command, preserved themselves from this misery and degradation, much of this folly would unquestionably be prevented.

The result to be aimed at is, to secure to the great body of the people all the happiness which is capable of being derived from the matrimonial union, without the evils which a too rapid increase of their numbers involves. The progress of legislation, the improvement of the education of the people, and the decay of superstition, will, in time, it may be hoped, accomplish the difficult task of reconciling these important objects.

Such are the modes in which legislation can weaken the tendency in population to increase. It remains to inquire by what means it can strengthen the tendency in capital to increase. These are, also, direct and indirect. As the legislature, if skilful, has great power over the tastes of the community, it may contribute to render frugality fashionable, and expense disgraceful. The legislature may also produce that distribution of property which experience shows to be the most favourable to saving. Sumptuary laws have been adopted in several countries; but it is not easy to contrive sumptuary laws, the effect of which would be very considerable, without a minute and vexatious interference with the ordinary business of life.

There is certainly one course by which the legislature might produce considerable effects upon the accumulation of capital; because it might lay hold of any portion which it pleased of the net produce of the year, and convert it into capital. We have only, therefore, to inquire, in what manner this could be performed, and what effects it would produce.

The mode of taking whatever portion it might find expedient, is obvious and simple. An income tax, of the proper amount, would effectually answer the purpose.

The legislature might employ the capital, thus forcibly created, in one or other of two ways. it might lend it to be employed by others: or it might retain the employment in its own hands.

The simplest mode, perhaps, would be, to lend it to those manufacturers and capitalists who might apply for it, and could give security for the repayment. The interest of what was thus laid out in one year might be employed as capital the next. Every annual portion would thus make compound interest, and, so long as interest remained pretty high, would double itself in a small number of years. If wages appeared likely to fall, a higher income tax would be required. If wages rose higher than seemed to be necessary for the most desirable condition of the labourer, the income tax might be reduced.

Without waiting to inquire, whether a machinery, capable of producing these effects, be or be not practicable, we may proceed to another consideration, which seems calculated to decide the merits of the scheme.

According to the progress above supposed, the increase of population would be rapid. The progress would also be rapid, in the application of capital to land of a worse and worse quality, or in doses attended with a less and less return.

In proportion as capital is attended with less and less of annual return, the, owners of capital have less and less income. If the income from capital be continually diminished, in process of time none but the owners of large masses of capital will derive from it the means of existence. This is the extreme state of things to which the operation of the scheme, supposing it not impracticable, certainly tends.

It remains to inquire how far these effects are be considered as good.

Let us suppose that the command of the labourer over the articles of his consumption remains unaltered. Those who do not subsist by the wages of labour, live either upon the produce of stock, or upon the rent of land. In the case supposed, the tendency is, to impoverish those who live upon the produce of stock; but to increase the rent of land. With the exception of the owners of land, all the rest of the community would be either labourers, or capitalists almost equally poor. As often as land were offered to sale, a great amount of capital would of course be given for it; nobody, therefore, would be able to buy more than a very limited portion.

In this state of things, sales of land would either be frequent, or they would be rare. It is necessary to consider what would be the effects in either case.

The effects which would arise in the case in which the sales of land would be rare, are simple. The owners of land would be a comparatively small number of rich people, in the midst of a population, all equally, and hopelessly, poor. That there is scarcely any state of society less conducive to human happiness, we need not here spend any time to prove.

If sales went on, it being the nature of land, as of other property, to change hands continually, the whole land would be divided, at last, into very small portions; covered by a dense population, no portion of whom would be in circumstances much better than those of the labourer. Is this, in itself, a desirable state of things? Is it either followed or preceded by a desirable state of things?

When any of those accidents occur by which the annual produce is for one year, or a few years, reduced considerably below the usual standard, in a country in which a considerable proportion of the people have better incomes than those who live upon wages, considerable savings may be made from their expenditure, to mitigate the effects of the deficiency. In a country in which all were reduced to the state of wages, any considerable diminution of the usual supply would diffuse general, irremediable calamity.

All the blessings, which flow from that grand and distinguishing attribute of our nature, its progressiveness, the power of advancing continually from one degree of knowledge, one degree of command over the means of happiness, to another, seem, in a great measure, to depend upon the existence of a class of men who have their time at their command; that is, who are rich enough to be freed from all solicitude with respect to the means of living in a certain state of enjoyment. It is by this class of men that knowledge is cultivated and enlarged; it is also by this class that it is diffused; it is this class of men whose children receive the best education, and are prepared for all the higher and more delicate functions of society, as legislators, judges, administrators teachers, inventors in all the arts, and superintendents in all the more important works, by which the dominion of the human species is extended over the powers of nature.

It is also, in a peculiar manner, the business of those whose object it is to ascertain the means of raising human happiness to its greatest height, to consider, what is that class of men by whom the greatest happiness is enjoyed. It will not probably be disputed, that they who are raised above solicitude for the means of subsistence and respectability, without being exposed to the vices and follies of great riches, the men of middling fortunes, in short, the men to whom society is generally indebted for its greatest improvements, are the men, who, having their time at their own disposal, freed from the necessity of manual labour, subject to no man's authority, and engaged in the most delightful occupations, obtain, as a class, the greatest sum of human enjoyment. For the happiness, therefore, as well as the ornament of our nature, it is peculiarly desirable that a class of this description should form as large a proportion of each community as possible. For this purpose it is absolutely necessary that population should not, by a forced accumulation of capital, be made to go on, till the return to capital from the land is very small. To enable a considerable portion of the community to enjoy the advantages of leisure, the return to capital must evidently be large. There is a certain density of population which is convenient, both for social intercourse, and for that combination of powers by which the produce of labour is increased. When these advantages, however, are attained, there seems little reason to wish that population should proceed any further. If it does proceed further, instead of increasing the net revenue derived from *the land and labour of the country, or that portion of the annual Produce which exceeds what is necessary for replacing the capital consumed, and maintaining the labourers, it lessens that important fund, on the largeness of which the happiness of society to a great degree depends.

If we may, thus, infer, that human happiness cannot be secured by taking forcible methods to make capital increase as fast as population; and if, on the other hand, it is certain, that where births take place, more numerous than are required to uphold a population corresponding to the state of capital, human happiness is impaired, it is immediately seen, that the grand practical problem is, To find the means of limiting the number of births. It has also appeared, that, beyond a certain state of density in the population, such as to afford in perfection the benefits of social intercourse, and of combined labour, it is not desirable that population should increase. The- precise problem, therefore, is, to find the means of limiting births to that number which is necessary to keep up the population, without increasing it. Were that accomplished, while the return to capital from the land was yet high, the reward of the labourer would be ample, and a large surplus would still remain. If the natural laws of distribution were allowed to operate freely, the greater part of this net produce would find its way, in moderate portions, into the hands of a numerous class of persons, exempt from the necessity of labour, and placed in the most favourable circumstances both for the enjoyment of happiness, and for the highest intellectual and moral attainments.

We have yet to mention, that government, instead of lending, may itself employ the capital which it forcibly creates. It is evident, however, that whether government employs this capital, or lends it to be employed by others, all the effects, which we have traced its arising necessarily from its increase, will be, the same. The best mode, perhaps, which could be invented for employing, by government itself, a portion of the annual produce, forcibly taken from the owners, to accelerate the growth of capital, would be that which has been so earnestly pressed upon the public attention by Mr. Owen, of New Lanark. Mr. Owen proposes, that the portion of the annual produce thus converted into capital should be employed by government in making certain establishments; each of a mixed nature, partly for agricultural, partly for manufacturing industry; in erecting the houses, in providing the instruments or machinery, the previous subsistence, and raw materials which might be required. In these establishments, Mr. Owen is of opinion that labour might be employed under great advantages, and with unexampled means of felicity to the individuals employed. Mr. Owen, however, must intend one of two things;-either that population should go on, or that it should stop. If it is to go on, capital of course holding pace with it, all the evils which would, as above, result from the forcible increase of capital, when lent by government, would result from its forcible increase, when employed in those establishments. If Mr. Owen means that population should not go on, and if expedients can be employed to limit sufficiently the number of births, there is no occasion for these establishments, still less for the forcible and painful abduction of a part of their income from the people. The limitation of the number of births, by raising wages, will accomplish every thing which we desire, without trouble and without interference. The limitation of the numbers, if that object can be attained, may be carried so far as not only to raise the condition of the labourer to any state of comfort and enjoyment which may be desired, but to prevent entirely the accumulation of capital.

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