The Society of To-morrow: A Forecast of Its Political and Economic Organisation

Gustave de Molinari
Molinari, Gustave de
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P. H. Lee Warner, trans.
First Pub. Date
New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Pub. Date
Appendix by Edward Atkinson, Introduction by Hodgson Pratt, Prefatory letter by Frédéric Passy.
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Part III, Note C

Effects of Industrial Progress on the Sphere of Production


In a paper in the Forum of April, 1898, Mr. W. T. Harris asks, "Is there really work for all?" To solve this problem he proceeds to quote statistics, showing the changes which have occurred in the different classes of occupation during a twenty years' period in the United States.

Table showing the proportion per Thousand of Population engaged in the Occupations stated, in the United States.
Occupation. 1870 1880 1890
Agriculture and Fisheries 491.1 460.3 396.5
Liberal Professions 29.3 34.6 41.5
Personal Service 184.8 201.4 191.8
Manufactures 196.2 196.3 223.9
Trades and Commerce 98.3 107.3 146.3


This table shows that about 100 persons per thousand have forsaken the primitive occupations (Class I.) favouring the remainder in the following proportions: Personal service, 7 per cent.; professions, 12 percent.; manufactures, 27 per cent.; trades and commerce, 48 per cent. Yet, so much have the methods of culture and the machinery employed been perfected that the national output of agricultural produce continues to more than meet all demands. This discovery leads Mr. Harris to suppose that, granting such an advance in machinery and methods as to render the manual labour—the "drudgery"—of one man per cent. sufficient for all demands in the care and operation of the agents of agricultural produce—clothing, victual, and shelter—the remaining 99 per cent. would still find a higher class of occupation. As a collateral argument, he adduces the statement that in the twenty years 1870-1890 the number of journalists per million of population has advanced from 424 to 963; of photographers from 608 to 880; and of piano-tuners in similar proportion.*25

Notes for this chapter

Rouxel, "A Critical Review of the Chief Recent Economic Publications"—Journal des Economistes.

Part III, Note D

End of Notes

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