Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States

Edited by: Lalor, John J.
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New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
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Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
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LABOR is the voluntary exertion of human beings put forth to attain some desired object. We say human beings, for the toil of beasts is but the agency of an instrument, reckoned a part of capital. We say voluntary exertion, for the involuntary work of slaves is, in the view of political economy, like the toil of oxen, the mere use of a thing owned as a part of one's capital. We say, also, for a desired object, for this distinguishes labor from play. In play we are satisfied with the mere exercise of our faculties. The exertion is at once means and end. In labor we seek a further end—a result which comes as an abiding reward for the effort. (Wayland.) Labor is either bodily or mental, involving exertion either of the muscular or nervous system. The line of demarcation between these two kinds of labor is not always perfectly distinct. There is probably no purely muscular labor, i.e., labor involving absolutely no nervous exertion; nor, on the other hand, any purely nervous labor, unmixed with muscular effort.


—1. Labor as a Factor of Production. Labor is one of the essential elements of production. Nature offers to man a vast variety of objects which by their constitution are adapted to satisfy his wants. But labor is necessary to make them available. Even in the case of those things which in their natural state are suited to the supply of human wants, such as water, fruits, wild honey, etc., etc., some exertion is necessary, even if it be nothing more than appropriation, in order to make them of any use; while in the vast majority of cases very much labor is needed in finding, transforming and transporting natural objects before they can be made serviceable. Now what is the office of labor in production? A moment's thought will convince one that labor does not produce, i.e., does not create. matter. That is beyond human power. It may change matter from one mode of manifestation into another, it may change the shape of matter, it may change the place of matter; but it can neither increase nor diminish (i.e., neither produce nor destroy) the existing quantity of matter. Bacon says that man can do nothing else than move natural objects to or from one another; while nature, working within, accomplishes the rest. "Labor," says Mill, "in the physical world is always and solely occupied with putting objects in motion: the properties of matter, the laws of nature, do the rest." The consideration of what actually occurs in any process of production will make this point clear. We say that a baker produces bread. In what does his work consist? He brings together in one vessel the various ingredients of his wished-for product, forces them into closer contact by stirring and kneading, puts the dough into an oven which he has heated by exciting the process of combustion near it. This last he has accomplished by bringing into juxtaposition certain natural elements which act upon each other so as to produce heat. If we examine any other case of what is called the action of man upon nature, we shall find in like manner that the powers of nature, or, in other words, the properties of matter, do all the work when once objects are put into the right position. The farmer stirs the soil, so that the natural agents can produce their effects more easily; he puts the seed into the ground, but nature sends down the root, sends up the stem, and brings forth the leaf and flower and fruit. What is true of the farmer is equally true of the spinner and weaver. The natural qualities of the flax or wool form the necessary basis for their work Although physical labor thus performs but one service in production, yet it manifests itself in several different ways, some of which are important enough to deserve especial mention. Labor in its most immediately productive form is engaged in appropriation, i.e., in simply taking the objects which nature has made fit for man's use without any agency of his. The labor of some savages consists very largely of this kind. They live upon the berries, roots, wild honey, etc., which nature provides in more or less profusion. It is plain that where man's effort is mostly exerted in labor of this sort he must be exceedingly dependent upon nature, and can never rise very high above barbarism. The labor of appropriation, except so far as it is concerned with mining, plays but a small part in the life of civilized man. Labor is further employed in the production of raw materials, i.e., in giving a direction to nature which results in the increase of raw materials. We may mention in this connection agriculture, forest culture, pisciculture, stock raising, etc., etc. The process which is carried on in these branches is sometimes called transmutation, i.e., a change in the manifestation of matter. Thus, the seed is transmuted into the corn which it produces, and the corn into the wool which forms the basis of the coat. A third way in which labor is occupied with objects we may call transformation, i.e., a change in the shape and appearance of matter Thus, the wool, by carding, spinning, weaving. coloring and sewing, is transformed into the coat. This process is pre-eminently an industrial one, and is seen in all kinds of manufactures. It takes up the raw material and turns out the finished product. Finally, labor is employed in transportation, i.e., the carrying of the raw material or the finished product from the place where it is not wanted to the place where it is wanted. This is the great business of commerce.


—Mental labor manifests itself in a different way from physical labor. It is occupied in investigation and discovery. It seeks to find out the laws of nature which make physical labor effective, and to discover new ways in which they may be utilized. It invents, i.e., devises instruments of production, without which physical labor could accomplish but little. It oversees and superintends, without which physical labor would be blind and inefficient. It educates, legislates and governs. It is, in a word, the precedent and condition of any extensive effective physical labor.


—If labor fails to attain the desired object for which it is put forth, it is evidently unfruitful, i.e., unproductive; while, if it be successful, it would seem natural to call it productive. The history of the politico-economic discussion on the distinction between productive and unproductive labor is interesting and significant. The mercantilists considered as productive only such labor as contributed directly to increase the quantity of the precious metals possessed by the nation, either through the agency of mining at home or by the agency of foreign trade. They ascribed to industry a greater power of attracting gold and silver than to agriculture, and to the finer sorts of industry than to the coarser. The former, therefore, were more productive than the latter. The physiocrats, on the contrary, considered that the labor employed in producing raw materials was the only productive labor. All other classes, it matters not how useful they are, they called sterile, because they draw their income only from the superabundance of landowners and the workers of the soil. Artisans merely change the form of matter, and any extra value they may give it depends on the quantity of other material consumed during their labor. Commerce simply transfers existing wealth from hand to hand, and, hence, the less there is of it the better. These views are practically obsolete. Adam Smith considered personal services in the narrower sense as unproductive. The clergyman, physician, legislator, opera singer, ballet dancer, buffoon, were all classed as unproductive. The violin maker is productive, the violin player unproductive; the hog-raiser is productive, the educator of man unproductive, etc. Those classes are productive whose labor can be incorporated and fixed in some material object of wealth. Mill follows Adam Smith in this distinction. But the tendency of the most recent political economy is strongly toward considering as productive every useful business which ministers to the whole people's requirement of external goods. The idea of productivity changes according as we regard it from the standpoint of the producer, that of the consumer, or that of the national economy as a whole. The first regards all labor as productive which brings him in the desired return for his labor. Thus a thief, who makes a good haul on some expedition, views his labor as exceedingly productive, though the non-thieving classes would hardly agree with him. The consumer deems all labor productive whose achievements he may use, and which he can obtain at a convenient price. From the economic-social point of view, all labor is productive which increases, directly or indirectly, the wealth of society. The services of the statesman and policeman are in this view as productive as those of the shoemaker or tailor.


—II. Conditions Affecting the Efficiency of Labor. Since labor is exertion put forth, not for its own sake, but in order to attain some ulterior object, it is evident that no more labor will be expended than is necessary to secure the desired result. This fact might be expressed as a law which would hold a very similar place in economics to that held by the law of gravitation in physics. It would be formulated as follows: Man strives to attain the greatest possible results with the least possible exertion. In consequence of this fact we find man in all stages of civilization trying to invent or discover labor-saving instruments. In view of his disinclination to useless labor it becomes a matter of the greatest importance to diminish that element as much as possible. He is, consequently, always more or less busily employed in seeking to increase the efficiency of his labor. This can be done in various ways, some of which we enumerate. Man can greatly increase the effectiveness of his labor (i.e., increase the total amount produced). by the use of natural agents. Of all the animal world man is most poorly provided with organs which are immediately fitted to procure him a subsistence. In his search for food he finds himself but ill-adapted for climbing the trees to obtain the nuts, or digging in the earth to get out the roots, or diving in the water to gather the shellfish. The bird escapes him in its flight, the fish out-swims him, the deer out-runs him, the buffalo is too strong for him to kill. Even the rats, mice and moles can out dig him and out-gnaw him. In the construction of his shelter he appears but poorly equipped when compared with the beaver or the bird. If man's intelligence did not enable him to take advantage of natural agents, the race would soon become extinct. But the elasticity of wood and the tenacity of cord enable him to make a bow, and the hardness of the flint and the lightness of the stick enable him to make an arrow, which, driven by the bow, transfixes the bird in its flight, stops the deer in its mad course, and pierces the heart of the mightiest buffalo. With a sharpened stick he is enabled to stir up the soil, which else he would have to turn with his hands. A hollow stone and a hard stick make it easy for him to break and crush the grains of corn into meal or flour, instead of having to crush them between the teeth. A lump of stone of a certain shape affords him an instrument with which to cut down the tree, that he might have gnawed at for months without bringing down. And thus in all directions he increases the efficiency of his labor by subduing to his use the natural agents he finds about him. By the aid of some he increases the amount of his production fivefold, tenfold, a hundred thousand fold. By the aid of others he produces things which he could never have produced at all without them. Natural agents, says an old author, may be classed as those which create momentum and those which change the direction of momentum. The former may be classed as animate and inanimate agents. Thus, horses, oxen, etc., are among the earliest animate agents which man made serviceable to himself. He found that a horse could turn one stone around and around on top of another and thus crush his corn, and so relieve him of a great deal of labor. It was not a great step to devise a means of utilizing the power of an inanimate agent, such as wind or water. And we consequently find wind and water mills among all peoples who have advanced very much beyond barbarism. The lapse of time brought with it a means of using the expansive power of steam, and the explosive power of gunpowder, and similar agencies. The use of wind and water greatly increased the efficiency of labor, as compared with a time when only animate agents were used. But the invention of the steam engine marked a still greater progress. Water power can be had only in comparatively few places. Wind power is irregular and unequal. Steam power is practically to be had everywhere at will. The use of inanimate agencies is relatively on the increase. They are cheaper, more enduring, and safer. They create more momentum, and take up less space; they are continuous, and work with mathematical exactness; they are unwearied, never wear out, and the machinery through which they act is easily repaired. All inanimate agents for changing the direction of momentum fall under the general head of tools and machines. By them we may change the direction of motion, convert power into velocity, manage forces too great for animate power, accumulate power, execute operations too delicate for animate agencies, and convert irregular, spasmodic effort into a regular or continuous movement. (Wayland.)


—Labor may be rendered more efficient, not only by taking advantage of natural agents, but also by combining the efforts of individuals—so-called combination of labor. It is a universally known fact, that two men by working together can produce in certain branches-many times as much as both working separately. Two hunters can kill more than twice as much when hunting together as either could kill alone. Two greyhounds running together will kill more hares than four greyhounds running separately. In the lifting of heavy weights, in the felling of trees, in the sawing of timber, in the gathering of much hay or corn during a short period of fine weather, in the pulling of ropes on board ship, in the rowing of large boats, in the erection of scaffolding for building; in all these simple operations, and in thousands more, it is necessary that many men should work together in the same place, at the same time and in the same way. (Mill.) Savages help each other but little. The combination of labor in low states of society is very limited, but with every advance in civilization comes a development of the associative powers of labor, until, in our modern industrial state, society becomes one vast co-operative association.


—But combination of labor in a high degree is possible only when subdivision of labor has already taken place, and this brings us to a third means of increasing the productivity of human exertion, viz., division of labor. By division of labor we mean simply, that different kinds of labor are assigned to different classes and individuals, so that each shall do that for which he is best fitted. Division of labor involves an analysis of work into its parts and a distribution of those parts to different laborers. It is possible, therefore, only in the production of such commodities as require several distinct operations for their completion. Division of labor occurs in its simplest from among individual laborers. Adam Smith's example of the advantages of such division has become classical and we can do no better than transcribe it. "The business of making a pin is divided into about eighteen distinct operations. One man draws out the wire, another straights it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head: to make the head requires two or three distinct operations; to put it on is a peculiar business, to whiten the pins is another; it is even a trade by itself to put them into a paper. I have seen a small manufactory where ten men only were employed, and where some of them consequently performed two or three distinct operations. But though they were very poor, and therefore but indifferently accommodated with the necessary machinery, they could, when they exerted them selves, make about twelve pounds of pins in a day. There are in a pound upward of four thousand pins of middling size. These ten persons, therefore, could make among them upward of forty-eight thousand pins in a day. Each person might be considered, therefore, as making four thousand eight hundred pins in a day. But if they had all wrought separately and independently, and without any of them having been educated to this peculiar business, they certainly could not each of them have made twenty, perhaps not one, pin in a day." The advantages of a thorough division of labor from a productive point of view, are many of them apparent. We may class them under five heads.


—1. The skill and dexterity of the individual workman are largely increased. The oftener a thing is done, the more easily it is done. The organs acquire a greater power; the muscles become stronger and more pliant. The repetition of a given process tends to make it mechanical. It becomes, therefore, more rapid and exact. Adam Smith has given an excellent example of the above advantage. "A common smith," says he, "who, though accustomed to handle the hammer, has never been used to make nails, if upon some particular occasion he is obliged to attempt it, will scarce, I am assured, be able to make above two or three hundred nails in a day, and those very bad ones. A smith who has been accustomed to make nails, but whose sole or principal business has not been that of a nailer, can seldom with utmost diligence make more than eight hundred or a thousand nails in a day. But I have seen several boys under twenty years of age, who had never exercised any other trade but that of making nails, who, when they exerted themselves, could make each of them upward of two thousand three hundred nails in a day"; or nearly three times as much as the smith who had been accustomed to make them. but who was not entirely devoted to that particular business.


—2. Time is saved. The advantage which is gained by saving the time usually lost in passing from one sort of work to another, is much greater than we should at first view be apt to imagine it. It is impossible to pass very quickly from one kind of work to another, that is carried on in a different place and with different tools. A man commonly saunters a little in turning his hand from one sort of employment to another. When he first begins the new work he is seldom very keen and hearty; his mind, as they say, does not go to it, and for some time he rather trifles than applies to good purpose. The habit of sauntering and of indolent, careless application, which is naturally or rather necessarily acquired by every country workman who is obliged to change his work and his tools every few hours, and to apply his hand in twenty different ways every day of his life, renders him almost always slothful and lazy, and incapable of vigorous application even on the most pressing occasions. (Smith) The saving of time effected in learning the business should also be classed under this head. It is evidently a much simpler and shorter matter to learn how to perform one process than seventy, and the time thus saved in the early stages of one's work life amounts in the aggregate to an enormous sum.


—3. Division of labor facilitates the invention of machines and processes of saving labor. Inventions to abridge labor in particular operations are more likely to be made in proportion as one devotes one's physical and mental attention exclusively to that one occupation. Besides, a man who is busied continually in performing one simple operation is more likely to hit upon some mechanical device to substitute for his labor, than one who is engaged in a complex process involving several operations; if for no other reason, because the former is much simpler than the latter. Mill, however, calls attention to the undoubted fact that invention depends much more on general intelligence and habitual activity of mind than on exclusiveness of occupation; and if that exclusiveness is carried to a degree unfavorable to the cultivation of intelligence, there will be more lost in this kind of advantage than is gained.


—4. Mr. Babbage has called attention to a further very important advantage connected with division of labor, which consists in the more economical distribution of labor by classing work-people according to their capacity. Different parts of the same series of operations require unequal degrees of skill and bodily strength; and those who have skill enough for the most difficult, or strength enough for the hardest parts of the labor, are made much more useful by being solely employed in them; the operations which everybody is capable of, being left to those who are fit for no other Production is most efficient when the precise quantity of skill and strength which is required for each part of the process is employed in it and no more. The operations of pin making, it seems, require in its different parts such different degrees of skill that the wages earned by the persons employed vary from four-pence half-penny per day to six shillings, and if the workman who is paid at the highest rate had to perform the whole process he would be working a part of his time with a waste per day equivalent to the difference between six shillings and four-pence half-penny. Without reference to the loss sustained in the quantity of work done, and supposing even that he could make a pound of pins in the same time in which ten workmen combining their labor can make ten pounds, Mr. Babbage computes that they would cost in making, three and three- fourths times as much as they now do by means of the division of labor. In needle-making, he adds, the difference would be still greater, for in that the scale of remuneration for different parts of the process varies from sixteen to twenty shillings per day. (Mill.)


—5. A saving is effected in capital by a division of labor "If any man," says Rae. "had all the tools which many different occupations require, at least three-fourths of them would constantly be idle and useless." As a consequence they would be so much dead capital, taking no part in production. The ordinary individual could not afford to have as good tools as a specialist, and, therefore, his work on this account also would be less effective.


—The extent to which division of labor can be carried with advantage depends upon several conditions. 1 Upon the nature of the process. Agriculture, for example, can not be distributed as fully as manufactures, because its different operations are not simultaneous. A man whose work consisted solely of plowing would be idle most of the year; if he limited himself to reaping he would find it difficult to employ himself for more than a month or two. In manufacturing, when a process has once been reduced to its simplest elements, and the various operations distributed, the limit of subdivision has been reached. For it is no division of labor to employ two men in the same occupation. To attain the greatest economy in a factory, it is necessary to so adjust the operations and the laborers that the latter will fully employ one another. And this having been once accomplished, the establishment can not be economically enlarged unless it employs multiples of this number of workmen. 2. Upon the accumulation of wealth. It is evident that in a detailed system of divided labor there must be means on hand to support all the various classes of laborers engaged in the production of a commodity until it can be disposed of in the market, i.e., there must be a large amount of capital on hand. In new countries, therefore, the division of labor is very limited even among civilized nations. The American pioneer was his own carpenter, farrier, physician, etc., etc., being confined to the immediate exertions of his own family for all the commodities or services he enjoyed. In the progress of society the evolution of new callings is but slow, and the division of labor within those callings still slower. 3. Upon the extent of the market. The efficient cause of the division of labor in an industrial society is the demand for the products of labor. If there were no demand for the surplus products of a man's exertion in any field, he would only put forth labor enough to provide himself with what he alone could use. A man, for instance, might find himself in need of pins, we will say. He makes enough to supply himself and then takes up some other product, which he needs. But his neighbor needs pins also, and the skill he has acquired in making his own enables him to produce some for his neighbor more cheaply than the latter could do it for himself. He manufactures enough for both and exchanges his surplus for what he needs. Other neighbors hear of it and wish to buy pins in exchange for what they produce. Our pin maker finds it profitable to spend all his time in making pins and exchanging his surplus for other things he needs. Pretty soon, as his fame goes abroad, and more and more resort to him, he finds it profitable to hire a man to help him, and after awhile he can add another and another. It occurs to him to distribute the labor of making a pin among eighteen different laborers, and he can then make a hundred thousand pins a day, where formerly he only made a hundred. Now he can do this profitably, only so far as the market expands enough to take his ever-increasing product of pins. It would not pay him to hire eighteen men to make five pins, if that were all he could sell, merely to secure a division of labor. We thus see how an accession of demand for a commodity tends to increase the efficiency of labor engaged in its production—it makes possible a greater division of labor. The extent of the market may be limited by several causes: 1st. The number of consumers. Other things being equal, one hundred men will need ten times as many shoes and coats as ten men. 2d. Cost of the article. A diminution of 20 per cent. in the cost of an article will often double the market for it, and vice versa a similar increase in the cost will decrease the market. 3d. The wealth of the inhabitants. England is a far better market for certain goods than Russia, in spite of the fact that its population is scarcely one-fourth as large, for its wealth is far greater. 4th. Facilities for transportation. Even if the cost of an article at the place of its manufacture be low enough to satisfy a large market, the conditions of transportation may be such as to make it impossible to get it to consumers at a popular price. 4. Upon the executive ability of men. The more detailed the division of labor becomes, the higher the order of executive ability necessary to manage the industry. The instant an industrial undertaking outgrows the ability of its overseers, that instant it becomes wasteful and extravagant, and all advantage of division of labor is lost.


—The effects of the division of labor upon the laborer himself ought not to be passed over in a discussion of the subject of labor. Where it is carried to the development which it has attained in modern industrial life it is fraught with serious danger both to the individual laborer and to the society to which he belongs. A variety of exercise is essential to the full and healthy development of the faculties and functions of the body. But the division of labor often involves long and close confinement to a single operation; an over-tasking of some one limb or set of muscles; a posture which may cramp and oppress the vital organs; exposure to deleterious gases and exhalations; the breathing for hours in crowded rooms of air bereft of oxygen, and charged with carbonic acid. The introduction of women and children into factories by which that economic distribution of the workpeople according to their capacity, which we have mentioned above, has been made possible, is certainly to be greatly regretted from a social point of view. The mind is liable to be contracted and enfeebled. What must be the aspect of the soul of a workman who for forty years has done nothing but watch the moment when silver has reached the degree of fusion which precedes vaporization! (Roscher.) There is a compensating circumstance, however, in all such work. It tends to become mechanical and thus to leave the mind free to think about something else; while the concentration of numbers makes it possible to introduce schools, debating societies, etc. Division of labor tends to increase the power of capital and diminish the independence, and, therefore, the self-respect of the laborer. The small producer is driven to factory labor, and his success which was before largely dependent on himself is now in the hands of a few managers and capitalists. It intensifies the feeling of bitterness between laborers and capitalists, when trouble arises, as the extremes of poverty and wealth meet under such conditions. (See MACHINERY.)


—Division of labor may occur among classes of laborers and different nations as well as among individuals. There is a distribution of labor, for instance, among the producers of raw material, the transporters, and the manufacturers. Commercial freedom enables a perfect system of division of labor among the different countries to develop itself. International division of labor is as profitable and oftentimes more profitable than domestic division of labor. The world is slow to learn this lesson, and even yet many parties can be found who maintain that international division of labor is ruinous and should be hindered at any cost. The division of labor has an important bearing on all questions of distribution.


—There are other agencies that affect the efficiency of labor, which we can do no more than mention. The greater energy of labor, the skill and knowledge of the community, the general diffusion of intelligence, the moral qualities of the laborers, the security of person and property, all have great influence on the productivity of labor. Production on a large scale often greatly increases the effectiveness of labor. As a general rule, the expenses of a business do not increase by any means proportionally to the quantity of business. It costs no more, for instance, to take ten letters from New York to San Francisco than it does to take one, and but little more to take ten thousand than ten hundred, and far less in proportion to take one hundred thousand than ten thousand. It takes a brakeman, an engineer, a fireman and an engine to draw two cars, but the same force can manage twenty just as well. A set of books which it is necessary to keep for one hundred customers will do about as well for five hundred The storeroom, light, heat and clerks for a small business need but to be slightly increased for a business twice as large, etc., etc. Whether or not the advantages obtained by operating on a large scale preponderate in any particular case over the more watchful attention and greater regard to minor gains and losses usually found in small establishments, can be ascertained in a state of free competition by the relative ability of such establishments to compete with each other.


—III. The Ethical Significance of Labor; Hope of Diminishing its Burden. If we examine the effect of the increased productivity of labor, caused by progressive division and combination, by growing accumulation of capital and ever-widening freedom, it will be seen that it consists almost entirely in an extension of positive satisfactions, but it has not diminished essentially the amount of labor demanded of man. And even for the future, however wide the prospect for continued advance in this direction, we can hardly hope to lessen the burden of labor, since the demands and wants of man seem to increase in the same proportion as his productivity. Now, as labor is indisputably felt to be a burden, the questions involuntarily force themselves upon our attention as to the inner justification of this burden laid upon humanity, as to the prospects of our being ultimately freed from it or of freeing ourselves from it, and as to the means which we must apply in order to do it. The justification of labor is to be found in the imperfection of human nature. Without some external compulsion to exert himself, man, owing to his disinclination to exertion his unsteadiness, and his love of passive enjoyment, would not become conscious of his true destiny, viz., self-development toward God likeness, and even if he did, he would grow weary in its pursuit. The ethical significance of labor consists in its quality as a means of education. And in fact who can fail to see how powerfully this burden resting upon it has advanced humanity, and how far, without it, it would have fallen short of its present attainments? The incomplete development of those very nations which in consequence of the wealth of surrounding nature feel this burden but lightly, and the countless examples in individual cases of moral relaxation in the relations of life which do not require labor, suffice to prove our position. Is there a tendency in the progress of civilization toward lessening the burden of human labor? The laws of nature are unchangeable, the resistance of the outer world to man's dominion will never become less, though his power to overcome it is constantly increasing. Exertion is labor or is not labor, according to the end for which it is made. If it is its own end, it ceases to be labor. The exertion a man puts forth from public spirit, because he enjoys the very making of it, is not labor. The artist who creates for the love of creating, is not laboring. In every pursuit which is followed for the love of it, labor passes away. It is along this line that labor is to be diminished. We can but present the thought. Labor can be diminished by the moral education and elevation of the laborer, i.e., laborious exertion can be converted into pleasurable exertion. (Cp. von Mangoldt.)


—Labor in its relation to the state, as to its law of increase, as to how it is affected by machinery, etc., will be found discussed elsewhere in this work under various heads, such as FACTORY LAWS, STRIKES, MACHINERY, POPULATION, etc.


Literature. The literature of the subject is vast and increasing. All standard works on political economy discuss the points we have mentioned above. The many works on Wages, Laboring Classes, Machines, Distribution, etc., contain discussions pertinent to the subject. Socialistic works, in particular, devote special attention to the laboring classes and the means of their improvement. The works most worthy of notice will be mentioned in the articles above referred to


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