Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States
By John J. Lalor
NEITHER American nor English literature has hitherto possessed a Cyclopædia of Political Science and Political Economy. The want of a work of reference on these important branches of knowledge has long been felt, especially by lawyers, journalists, members of our state and national legislatures, and the large and intelligent class of capitalists and business men who give serious thought to the political and social questions of the day. The present work, which will be completed in three volumes, is the first to supply that want. It is also the first Political History of the United States in encyclopædic form—the first to which the reader can refer for an account of the important events or facts in our political history, as he would to a dictionary for the precise meaning of a word. The French, the Germans and even the Italians are richer in works of reference on political science and political economy than the Americans or the English. The Germans have Rotteck and Welcker’s
Staatslexikon, and Bluntschli and Brater’s
Staatswörterbuch; the French, Block’s
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, and the celebrated
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, edited by Guillaumin and Coquelin.The “Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States” is intended to be to the American and English reader what the above-named works are to French and German students of political science and political economy. The articles by foreigners in our work are largely translations from the
Dictionnaire de l’Economie Politique, the
Dictionnaire Général de la Politique, the
Staatswörterbuch, and original articles by Mr. T. E. Cliffe Leslie, the eminent English economist; while the American articles are by the best American and Canadian writers on political economy and political science. The task of writing the articles on the political history of the United States was confided to one person, Mr. Alexander Johnston, of Norwalk, Connecticut, thoroughness, conciseness and the absence of repetition and of redundancy being thus secured…. [From the Preface]
First Pub. Date
New York: Maynard, Merrill, and Co.
Originally printed in 3 volumes. Includes articles by Frédéric Bastiat, Gustave de Molinari, Henry George, J. B. Say, Francis A. Walker, and more.
The text of this edition is in the public domain.
- V.1, Entry 1, ABDICATION
- V.1, Entry 2, ABOLITION AND ABOLITIONISTS
- V.1, Entry 3, ABSENTEEISM
- V.1, Entry 4, ABSOLUTE POWER
- V.1, Entry 5, ABSOLUTISM
- V.1, Entry 6, ABSTENTION
- V.1, Entry 7, ABUSES IN POLITICS
- V.1, Entry 8, ABYSSINIA
- V.1, Entry 9, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 10, ACADEMIES
- V.1, Entry 11, ACCLAMATION
- V.1, Entry 12, ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH
- V.1, Entry 13, ACT
- V.1, Entry 14, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 15, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 16, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 17, ADAMS
- V.1, Entry 18, ADJOURNMENT
- V.1, Entry 19, ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 20, ADMINISTRATIONS
- V.1, Entry 21, AFRICA
- V.1, Entry 22, AGE
- V.1, Entry 23, AGENT
- V.1, Entry 24, AGENTS
- V.1, Entry 25, AGIO
- V.1, Entry 26, AGIOTAGE
- V.1, Entry 27, AGRICULTURE
- V.1, Entry 28, ALABAMA
- V.1, Entry 29, ALABAMA CLAIMS
- V.1, Entry 30, ALASKA
- V.1, Entry 31, ALBANY PLAN OF UNION
- V.1, Entry 32, ALBANY REGENCY
- V.1, Entry 33, ALCALDE
- V.1, Entry 34, ALCOHOL
- V.1, Entry 35, ALGERIA
- V.1, Entry 36, ALGERINE WAR
- V.1, Entry 37, ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS
- V.1, Entry 38, ALIENS
- V.1, Entry 39, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 40, ALLEGIANCE
- V.1, Entry 41, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 42, ALLIANCE
- V.1, Entry 43, ALLOYAGE
- V.1, Entry 44, ALMANACH DE GOTHA
- V.1, Entry 45, ALSACE-LORRAINE
- V.1, Entry 46, AMBASSADOR
- V.1, Entry 47, AMBITION
- V.1, Entry 48, AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- V.1, Entry 49, AMERICA
- V.1, Entry 50, AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE
- V.1, Entry 51, AMERICAN PARTY
- V.1, Entry 52, AMERICAN WHIGS
- V.1, Entry 53, AMES
- V.1, Entry 54, AMISTAD CASE
- V.1, Entry 55, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 56, AMNESTY
- V.1, Entry 57, ANAM
- V.1, Entry 58, ANARCHY
- V.1, Entry 59, ANCIEN RÉGIME
- V.1, Entry 60, ANDORRA
- V.1, Entry 61, ANHALT
- V.1, Entry 62, ANNEXATION
- V.1, Entry 63, ANNEXATIONS
- V.1, Entry 64, ANTI-FEDERAL PARTY
- V.1, Entry 65, ANTI-MASONRY
- V.1, Entry 66, ANTI-NEBRASKA MEN
- V.1, Entry 67, ANTI-RENTERS
- V.1, Entry 68, ANTI-SLAVERY.
- V.1, Entry 69, APPORTIONMENT
- V.1, Entry 70, APPROPRIATION.
- V.1, Entry 71, APPROPRIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 72, ARBITRAGE
- V.1, Entry 73, ARBITRARY ARRESTS
- V.1, Entry 74, ARBITRARY POWER
- V.1, Entry 75, ARBITRATION
- V.1, Entry 76, ARCHONS
- V.1, Entry 77, AREOPAGUS.
- V.1, Entry 78, ARGENTINE CONFEDERATION
- V.1, Entry 79, ARISTOCRACY.
- V.1, Entry 80, ARISTOCRATIC AND DEMOCRATIC IDEAS.
- V.1, Entry 81, ARITHMETIC
- V.1, Entry 82, ARIZONA
- V.1, Entry 83, ARKANSAS
- V.1, Entry 84, ARMISTICE
- V.1, Entry 85, ARMIES
- V.1, Entry 86, ARMY
- V.1, Entry 87, ARTHUR
- V.1, Entry 88, ARTISANS
- V.1, Entry 89, ARYAN RACES.
- V.1, Entry 90, ASIA
- V.1, Entry 91, ASSEMBLY (IN U. S. HISTORY)
- V.1, Entry 92, ASSESSMENTS
- V.1, Entry 93, ASSIGNATS
- V.1, Entry 94, ASSOCIATION AND ASSOCIATIONS
- V.1, Entry 95, ASYLUM
- V.1, Entry 96, ATELIERS NATIONAUX
- V.1, Entry 97, ATTAINDER
- V.1, Entry 98, ATTORNEYS GENERAL
- V.1, Entry 99, AUSTRALIA
- V.1, Entry 100, AUSTRIA-HUNGARY
- V.1, Entry 101, AUTHORITY
- V.1, Entry 102, AUTHORS
- V.1, Entry 103, AUTOCRAT
- V.1, Entry 104, AUTONOMY.
- V.1, Entry 105, AYES AND NOES
- V.1, Entry 106, BADEN
- V.1, Entry 107, BALANCE OF POWER
- V.1, Entry 108, BALANCE OF TRADE
- V.1, Entry 109, BALLOT
- V.1, Entry 110, BANK CONTROVERSIES
- V.1, Entry 111, BANKING
- V.1, Entry 112, BANK NOTES.
- V.1, Entry 113, BANKRUPTCY.
- V.1, Entry 114, BANKRUPTCY, National.
- V.1, Entry 115, BANKS.
- V.1, Entry 116, BANKS, Functions of.
- V.1, Entry 117, BANKS OF ISSUE
- V.1, Entry 118, BANKS, Advantages of Savings.
- V.1, Entry 119, BANKS, History and Management of Savings,
- V.1, Entry 120, BAR
- V.1, Entry 121, BARNBURNERS
- V.1, Entry 122, BARRICADE
- V.1, Entry 123, BARTER.
- V.1, Entry 124, BASTILLE
- V.1, Entry 125, BAVARIA
- V.1, Entry 126, BELGIUM
- V.1, Entry 127, BELL
- V.1, Entry 128, BELLIGERENTS
- V.1, Entry 129, BENTON
- V.1, Entry 130, BERLIN DECREE
- V.1, Entry 131, BILL
- V.1, Entry 132, BILL OF EXCHANGE
- V.1, Entry 133, BILL OF RIGHTS
- V.1, Entry 134, BILLION
- V.1, Entry 135, BILLS
- V.1, Entry 136, BI-METALLISM.
- V.1, Entry 137, BIRNEY
- V.1, Entry 138, BLACK COCKADE
- V.1, Entry 139, BLACK CODE.
- V.1, Entry 140, BLACK REPUBLICAN.
- V.1, Entry 141, BLAINE
- V.1, Entry 142, BLAIR
- V.1, Entry 143, BLOCKADE
- V.1, Entry 144, BLOODY BILL
- V.1, Entry 145, BLUE LAWS
- V.1, Entry 146, BLUE LIGHT
- V.1, Entry 147, BOARD OF TRADE.
- V.1, Entry 148, BOLIVIA
- V.1, Entry 149, BOOTY
- V.1, Entry 150, BORDER RUFFIANS
- V.1, Entry 151, BORDER STATES
- V.1, Entry 152, BOURGEOISIE
- V.1, Entry 153, BOUTWELL
- V.1, Entry 154, BRAHMANISM.
- V.1, Entry 155, BRAZIL
- V.1, Entry 156, BRECKENRIDGE
- V.1, Entry 157, BROAD SEAL WAR
- V.1, Entry 158, BROKERS
- V.1, Entry 159, BROOKS
- V.1, Entry 160, BROWN
- V.1, Entry 161, BUCHANAN
- V.1, Entry 162, BUCKSHOT WAR
- V.1, Entry 163, BUCKTAILS
- V.1, Entry 164, BUDDHISM
- V.1, Entry 165, BUDGET
- V.1, Entry 166, BULL
- V.1, Entry 167, BUNDESRATH
- V.1, Entry 168, BUREAUCRACY
- V.1, Entry 169, BURGESSES
- V.1, Entry 170, BURLINGAME
- V.1, Entry 171, BURR
- V.1, Entry 172, BUTLER, Benj. F.
- V.1, Entry 173, BUTLER, William Orlando
- V.1, Entry 174, CACHET
- V.1, Entry 175, CÆSARISM
- V.1, Entry 176, CALENDAR
- V.1, Entry 177, CALHOUN
- V.1, Entry 178, CALIFORNIA
- V.1, Entry 179, CANADA
- V.1, Entry 180, CANALS
- V.1, Entry 181, CANON LAW
- V.1, Entry 182, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 183, CAPITAL
- V.1, Entry 184, CAPITULATION
- V.1, Entry 185, CARICATURE
- V.1, Entry 186, CARPET BAGGERS
- V.1, Entry 187, CARTEL
- V.1, Entry 188, CASS
- V.1, Entry 189, CASUS BELLI
- V.1, Entry 190, CAUCUS
- V.1, Entry 191, CAUCUS SYSTEM
- V.1, Entry 192, CAUSE AND EFFECT IN POLITICS.
- V.1, Entry 193, CELIBACY, Clerical
- V.1, Entry 194, CELIBACY, Political Aspects of.
- V.1, Entry 195, CELTS.
- V.1, Entry 196, CENSURE.
- V.1, Entry 197, CENSURE OF MORALS.
- V.1, Entry 198, CENSURES
- V.1, Entry 199, CENSUS.
- V.1, Entry 200, CENTRALIZATION and DECENTRALIZATION.
- V.1, Entry 201, CEREMONIAL
- V.1, Entry 202, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 203, CHARGÉ D'AFFAIRES.
- V.1, Entry 204, CHARITY, Private.
- V.1, Entry 205, CHARITY, Public.
- V.1, Entry 206, CHARITY, State.
- V.1, Entry 207, CHASE
- V.1, Entry 208, CHECKS AND BALANCES.
- V.1, Entry 209, CHEROKEE CASE
- V.1, Entry 210, CHESAPEAKE CASE.
- V.1, Entry 211, CHILI.
- V.1, Entry 212, CHINA
- V.1, Entry 213, CHINESE IMMIGRATION.
- V.1, Entry 214, CHIVALRY.
- V.1, Entry 215, CHRISTIANITY.
- V.1, Entry 216, CHURCH AND STATE
- V.1, Entry 217, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 218, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 219, CHURCH
- V.1, Entry 220, CHURCHES AND RELIGIONS
- V.1, Entry 221, CHURCHES
- V.1, Entry 222, CINCINNATI
- V.1, Entry 223, CIPHER DISPATCHES AND DECIPHERMENT
- V.1, Entry 224, CIRCULATION OF WEALTH.
- V.1, Entry 225, CITIES
- V.1, Entry 226, CITIES AND TOWNS.
- V.1, Entry 227, CIVIL ADMINISTRATION
- V.1, Entry 228, CIVIL LIST.
- V.1, Entry 229, CIVIL RIGHTS BILL
- V.1, Entry 230, CIVIL SERVICE REFORM
- V.1, Entry 231, CIVILIZATION
- V.1, Entry 232, CLAY
- V.1, Entry 233, CLEARING, AND CLEARING HOUSES
- V.1, Entry 234, CLERICALISM
- V.1, Entry 235, CLIENTÈLE AND CUSTOM
- V.1, Entry 236, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 237, CLIMATE
- V.1, Entry 238, CLINTON
- V.1, Entry 239, CLINTON, George
- V.1, Entry 240, CL�TURE
- V.1, Entry 241, COASTING TRADE
- V.1, Entry 242, COCHIN CHINA
- V.1, Entry 243, COINAGE
- V.1, Entry 244, COLFAX
- V.1, Entry 245, COLONIZATION SOCIETY
- V.1, Entry 246, COLORADO
- V.1, Entry 247, COLOMBIA
- V.1, Entry 248, COMMERCE.
- V.1, Entry 249, COMMERCIAL CRISES
- V.1, Entry 250, COMMISSION
- V.1, Entry 251, COMMITTEES
- V.1, Entry 252, COMMON LAW
- V.1, Entry 253, COMMONS
- V.1, Entry 254, COMMUNE
- V.1, Entry 255, COMMUNISM
- V.1, Entry 256, COMPETITION.
- V.1, Entry 257, COMPROMISES
- V.1, Entry 258, COMPULSORY CIRCULATION
- V.1, Entry 259, COMPULSORY EDUCATION
- V.1, Entry 260, CONCESSION
- V.1, Entry 261, CONCLAVE.
- V.1, Entry 262, CONCLUSUM
- V.1, Entry 284, CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
- V.1, Entry 301, CONVENTION
- V.1, Entry 375, DISTILLED SPIRITS
- V.1, Entry 384, DOMINION OF CANADA
- V.2, Entry 7, EDUCATION
- V.2, Entry 18, EMBARGO
- V.2, Entry 33, EXCHANGE
- V.2, Entry 35, EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS
- V.2, Entry 37, EXCHANGE OF WEALTH
- V.2, Entry 121, GREAT BRITAIN
- V.2, Entry 130, HABEAS CORPUS
- V.2, Entry 180, INDUSTRIAL ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION
- V.2, Entry 225, JUSTICE, Department of
- V.2, Entry 246, LAW
- V.2, Entry 364, NEW GRANADA
- V.2, Entry 379, NULLIFICATION
- V.3, Entry 4, OCEANICA
- V.3, Entry 29, PARIS MONETARY CONFERENCE
- V.3, Entry 32, PARLIAMENTARY LAW.
- V.3, Entry 116, RACES OF MANKIND
- V.3, Entry 137, REPUBLICAN PARTY
- V.3, Entry 155, ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
- V.3, Entry 195, SLAVERY
- V.3, Entry 278, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- V. 2, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of Writers
- V. 3, List of American Writers
ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH. It is to the power of accumulation or saving (two terms which in political economy are almost equivalent) that we owe all our capital, all our wealth.
—All the utilities created by man are susceptible of accumulation, whether these utilities are identified with the men themselves, as those which consist in acquired knowledge, in the perfection given our physical, intellectual or moral faculties, or those added to external objects.
—Of the accumulation of utilities of this last class, the most important are those realized in the cultivation of the soil. They consist in the clearing and reclaiming of land; in the increase of its natural fertility by manuring, irrigation or other means; in the substitution of plants useful to man for those with which the ground was primitively covered and not useful to man; in the multiplication and domestication of animals or beasts of burden employed as forces or intended for food; and finally, in the buildings, structures, machines or instruments used in exploitation of any kind. Accumulation of this kind forms the great mass of the material wealth of all nations whose civilization is advanced.
—Next in order of importance come accumulations of wealth under the form of dwelling houses, of factories, shops, machines and tools, roads, railroads, canals, bridges, ships, harbors, etc.; in a word, all the creations of industry destined to facilitate manufacturing or commercial operations, or to satisfy the wants of shelter, of intercourse, communication, etc.
—After these, the most important accumulations in the material order appear under the form of a supply of products destined either for the immediate satisfaction of our wants—such as furniture, utensils, fuel, food, linen, clothing, etc., with which every household is more or less amply provided, or those which have to undergo various changes or modifications, to fit them for consumption.
—Among the utilities which are identified with man, those whose accumulation or extension is most important, consist in the perfection given to the
industrial faculties, under which term we comprise: 1st, all positive knowledge capable of rendering man’s labors more fruitful; 2nd, the art of applying this knowledge, and the spirit of invention; 3rd,
skill in performing all the details in the different kinds of work; 4th, the practice of the habits, individual or collective, most favorable to the development and power of the industrial faculties, and the harmony of economic relations.
—It is plain that the accumulation of utilities, of capital, of wealth, may and really does take place under a multitude of forms. Among these forms we have not included that of money or coin. In reality, accumulations in no way need an increase in the quantity of that particular product; and it is undoubted that a people may double their wealth or increase it tenfold without a single cent being added to their monetary medium. Accumulation of wealth does not take this form except in countries which produce the precious metals.
—Nevertheless it is the almost universal opinion that the greater part of the accumulations of wealth or savings is made under the form of money, and as this false idea is the source of a multitude of economic errors, it seems to us useful to show clearly that although much of the accumulation of wealth appears for a time in the form of money, it consists in reality of something very different. This, a few examples will show. A ditch-digger, by working continuously for six months, has, let us suppose, drained a marsh; the value of his labor is estimated at $400. Of this sum the workman has spent, let us say, $300 for his own personal wants, and there remain to him $100 which he puts into a savings bank. Here is an accumulation equal in value to $100; and all the circumstances remaining the same, this value should be found as an addition to the wealth of the country in one form or another. Is it in the form of money? Evidently not; for the $100, before going into the savings bank, were in possession of the proprietor who received them, let us suppose, from his tenant, who received them from the butcher, who, in turn, received them from the consumer of meat, etc. In short, this money existed in the country before as well as after the operation. The wealth here accumulated, then, does not exist in the form of money, and it can only be found in the improvement given the land by the labor of the ditch-digger, an improvement equal in value to $400, and exceeding by $100 the value of the articles consumed by the workman.
—A builder constructs a house; he expends in its construction, in wages, materials, purchase of land, etc., a sum of $110,000. When he sells the house for $120,000 the excess of $10,000 is his profit, or the price of his services. Of this last sum, $5,000 have been spent in unproductive consumption, and $5,000 are added to the capital which he employs in his business. Does the accumulation here consist in money? By no means; since the money existed before in the hands of the purchaser. It is found in the value of the house which exceeds by $5,000 all that was spent.
—The purchaser of the house receives from his tenants a yearly sum of $6,000. He uses two-thirds of this sum for the personal wants of his family, and he puts the $2,000 of surplus in the bank. Here we have a new accumulation of $2,000, which, although it does not come from new labor, must exist as additional wealth in the country under some form, and, no more than in the preceding cases, under the form of money, since the same money already existed, and has now merely changed hands. In what, then, can the new value acquired to the nation consist? In order to discover this, it is necessary to remark that the service rendered to the tenants by the house is really equal to the value of $6,000, since they have freely consented to pay that sum for its use. They might have applied that service to an industrial purpose and received back its price in that of the products created. But we will suppose that they have consumed it unproductively for their personal wants. Now even in this case the savings of the proprietor add none the less a value of $2,000 to the wealth of the country; and this value must necessarily be found in a form different from that of money. This will be easily understood by noting that without this saving, it would have been necessary to add to the unproductive consumption of the premises other productive consumption still by the proprietor, amounting to the value of $2,000. The saving, therefore, must be found in this case in the form of the different objects which the proprietor has abstained from consuming, the preservation of which has diminished the sum total of consumption in the country and consequently increased its actual wealth to that extent, production remaining the same.
—We might take up in this manner, one after another, all the individual savings accumulated in a year, and it would be seen that all have increased the general wealth in proportion to their importance, either by adding to the utilities which the country already possessed or by preserving a greater part of these, by limiting consumption. It will be seen, at the same time, that these accumulations were made under a multitude of different forms other than money, though most of them appear for a moment under this last form. Thus, that which is accumulated in reality is not money; it is objects fitted to satisfy our needs—utilities of various forms.
—It is to be remarked, that these utilities scarcely ever remain in the hands of those to whom they are due; for even when they are exchanged for money, this money is usually given to others by those who have accumulated its values. Now, to place at the disposition of society a utility under one form or another is to render it a service, to furnish it with the means of labor or satisfaction, of which without this it would have been deprived. He who saves renders to society, therefore, a service proportionate to the value of his savings. It is true that he thus acquires the right of demanding equivalent services in return; but so long as he does not actually demand them, so long as he abstains from consuming their value for his personal wants, this value serves others than himself.
—Thus, for example, the owner of land or capital who obtains from these kinds of productive property an annual revenue of $10,000, and who saves half of it every year,
renders to society a new yearly service worth $5,000; and although he reserves to himself the power of demanding back at a later time the sum total of these services, increased by the total of the interest, it is none the less evident that while he abstains from demanding it and consuming it, society has the benefit of it in his place. A family which during several generations, during two centuries, for example, should have saved uninterruptedly half of its annual income, would have really admitted society during all this time to an equal partition with itself of the means of production and satisfaction which this income brought; in other terms, it would have added to the sum total of the enjoyments of society, an amount twice as great as the family itself could have obtained from it. The means of creating new wealth or satisfaction of which the family would have deprived itself, would have been acquired by others. The only exclusive benefit which its savings brought the family consisted in the feeling of security resulting from the power which it preserved of demanding from society, in case of need, services equal to those which it had ceded to it.
—These results of saving are incontestible. It follows, therefore, that it does not profit exclusively those who save, and that it is a very positive public benefit. The rich man who spends the whole of his revenue every year, in personal and unproductive consumption, does not exceed his rights; but in this way he only renders to others services exactly equal to those he receives from them; he is, therefore, of less use to others, and consequently less worthy of approbation and esteem in this regard, than the rich man who saves.
—Nevertheless, common opinion is more disposed to approve him who spends all his income for his personal wants, than him who saves a part of it. Strange fact, that the person who preserves for his family and society the greater number of utilities of every kind, and does it by restricting his personal enjoyments, is just the man whom the vulgar mind is inclined to reproach with egoism, while it attributes laudable and generous sentiments to him who denies himself nothing.
—To explain this unjust judgment it is affirmed that he whose personal wants are few
does not quicken the circulation of wealth, that he deprives industry and commerce of its outlets and of the encouragement which the consumption of wealth might give them. In this way men come to believe and to profess that every one renders more service to society the more value he consumes unproductively. Thus, men justify the expenses of luxury, pride, profusion, etc. This error was so generally disseminated in France, that in the greater part of the pamphlets, etc., written in 1848 and 1849, with the intention of combating the aberrations of socialism, it was thought necessary to praise the expenses of luxury, and endeavor to prove that it is, above all, on account of this kind of outlay, that the poor classes are interested in respecting wealth; so that, to combat lamentable economic errors, others as great were propagated. This we shall try to prove in a few words.
—Wealth is made up of all objects having value in exchange, no matter what their nature or their form. When a portion of wealth is consumed, that portion exists no longer; after which, if the want which it has satisfied appear again and we have still the means of providing for it, the object consumed must be reproduced, and the necessity of this reproduction gives new food to labor.
—But we may consume a portion of wealth in two ways: in the first place, we can absorb its entire value, in such manner that absolutely nothing may remain of it. This is a case of
unproductive consumption, which takes place, for example, in the case of a sumptuous repast, of fireworks, etc. We consume in this way the services of those who have furnished and prepared the food, those of the pyrotechnist, the powder manufacturer, the decorators, the costumers, the musicians, the actors, etc. We have thus furnished, but for once only, labor and pay to all these persons. In the second place, we may consume wealth in such a manner that after the operation a value may remain equal to or even greater than that consumed. This is a case of
reproductive (or productive) consumption. Suppose, for example, that the value consumed at the banquet or the fête, instead of being used in this way, had been employed in improving a barren hillside or in making a vineyard of it: by this application of the value consumed, we should have given work and wages to ditchers, to vinedressers, to teamsters, to manufacturers of compost, to producers of plants and of props; and we should thus have furnished remunerated employment to a number of laborers at least as great as the number hired at the banquet; and, while
nothing remained after the banquet, from this there would remain a vineyard, the annual product of which, the income from it, would furnish every year, and during an indefinite period, an entirely new article of food, in consideration of a certain amount of labor. This example suffices to show how much it is to the interest of workmen in general, that the rich, instead of spending all their income in unproductive consumption, in outlays for luxury, should devote the greatest part possible of it to
reproductive consumption. Even if they do not watch directly over these operations, and if they confine themselves to placing the sum of their savings
at interest, they still render a greater service to the working classes than spending their wealth unproductively. Deposited with a banker or a loan agent, their savings go to the farmer, the artisan, the contractor, who utilize them in reproductive consumption.
—Do not men complain every day that we have not enough of capital; that it is lacking in manufactures, in commerce, in great works of public utility, and above all in agriculture; and that, by reason of its insufficiency, the rate of interest is too high? But if such is the case, what should we desire? Should we not desire that savings and investments should be multiplied as much as possible, that
capital should increase and its abundance make the use of it less costly, that is to say, lower the rate of interest?
—Now, rich persons are the only ones who can make savings with ease. It should, therefore, be recommended to them, not by the law, for all liberty should be left them in this regard, but by morals, by the esteem attached to such conduct by an enlightened public opinion, by their own self-interest properly understood, which is here completely in accord with that of the laboring classes. Those who give other counsels to the rich, and desire to persuade them that they render more service and have more merit in proportion as they spend more for their wants, their tastes, their fancies, their vanities, their personal satisfaction, obey, in so doing, a prejudice which is much to be regretted. (See