Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Riches

Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Riches

by Anne-robert-jacques Turgot, William J. Ashley

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[Introductory Note by Du Pont de Nemours, in the "Éphémérides" for Nov. 1769, p. 12.]

We have long begged the Author of the following work to let us have it to enrich our Periodical. He was never ready to consent, because he had not given the last touch to the exposition of his reflections; because, throwing them on paper, three years ago, very hastily and for a particular purpose, he approaches the subject in a manner which seems to him not sufficiently direct; because, as a consequence, he has been obliged sometimes to repeat himself; and because it seems to him that thereby he gives occasion to objections which could easily have been forestalled if the subjects had been presented in a more systematic fashion. It is the Author himself who has so severely criticised his performance, whenever we have spoken to him about it; and we doubt not that he would really have been quite capable of giving it a higher degree of perfection. Yet as important occupations, from which he cannot be released, leave him too little leisure for it to be possible for him to reckon upon the time which would be necessary to arrive at what would satisfy himself; and since, even in the condition in which the reflections now are, they seem to us to compose a Work that is very interesting, very fruitful, and very worthy of the important subject of which they treat; we have insisted upon his giving us permission to place them in our Collection; and he has finally granted to friendship the sacrifice he had always refused to our arguments.


An excerpt from the Table of Contents:

1. The Impossibility of the Existence of Commerce Upon the Supposition of an Equal Division of Lands, Where Every Man Should Possess Only What Is Necessary For His Own Support.
2. The Above Hypothesis Neither Has Existed Nor Could Continue. the Diversity of Soils and Multiplicity of Wants, Compel an Exchange of the Productions of the Earth, Against Other Productions.
3. The Productions of the Earth Require Long and Difficult Preparations, Before They Are Rendered Fit to Supply the Wants of Men.
4. The Necessity of These Preparations, Bring On the Exchange of Productions For Labour.
5. Pre-eminence of the Husbandman Who Produces, Over the Artificer Who Prepares. the Husbandman Is the First Mover In the Circulation of Labour: It Is He Who Causes the Earth to Produce the Wages of Every Artificer.
6. The Wages of the Workman Is Limited By the Competition Among Those Who Work For a Subsistence. He Only Gains a Livelihood.
7. The Husbandman Is the Only One Whose Industry Produces More Than the Wages of His Labour. He, Therefore, Is the Only Source of All Wealth.
8. First Division of Society Into Two Classes, the One Productive, Or the Cultivators, the Other Stipendiary, Or the Artificers.
9. In the First Ages of Society, the Proprietors Could Not Be Distinguished From the Cultivators.
10. Progress of Society; All Lands Have an Owner.
11. The Proprietors Begin to Be Able to Ease Themselves of the Labour of Cultivation, By the Help of Hired Cultivators.
12. Inequality In the Division of Property: Causes Which Render That Inevitable.
13. Consequences of This Inequality: the Cultivator Distinguished From the Proprietor.
14. Division of the Produce Between the Cultivator and the Proprietor. Net Produce, Or Revenue.
15. A New Division of Society Into Three Classes. Cultivators, Artificers, and Proprietors, Or the Productive, Stipendiary, and Disposible Classes.
16. Resemblance Between the Two Laborious Classes.
17. Essential Difference Between the Two Laborious Classes.
18. This Difference Authorises Another Distinction Into the Productive and Barren Classes.
19. How the Proprietors May Draw a Revenue From Their Lands
20. First Method, Or Cultivation By Labourers On Wages.
21. Second Method, Cultivation By Slaves
22. Cultivation By Slaves Cannot Exist In Great Societies.
23. Slavery Annexed to the Land, Succeeds to Slavery Properly So Called.
24. Vassalage Succeeds to Slavery, Annexed to the Land, and the Slave Becomes a Proprietor. Third Method; Alienation of the Land For a Certain Service.
25. Fourth Method. Partial Colonization
26. Fifth Method. Renting, Or Letting Out the Land
27. The Last Method Is the Most Advantageous, But It Supposes the Country Already Rich.
28. Recapitulation of the Several Methods of Making Lands Productive.
29. Of Capitals In General, and of the Revenue of Money.
30. Of the Use of Gold and Silver In Commerce.
31. Rise of Commerce. Principle of the Valuation of Commercial Things.
32. How the Current Value of the Exchange of Merchandize Is Established.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012396341
Publisher: OGB
Publication date: 03/23/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 360 KB

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