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"fallen, it will not be less a real fall, because they might "furnish him with a greater quantity of cheap commo"dities than his former wages *.'
According to this nomenclature, if one labourer were to receive 301. a year, and the produce of his labour to sell at the end of the year for 401., and another were to receive 601. a year, and the produce of his labour to sell for 1007., the first labourer would be said to receive higher wages than the second; and if the wages of the second were to be altered from 60l. to 40l. a year, and the commodity to sell for 501., the alteration must be termed a rise of wages. According to this nomenclature, the wages of the best workmen are always the lowest, for it is known to be more profitable to employ them. This strange use of words must have been perplexing, even if Mr. Ricardo's language had been consistent. But it is almost impossible to affix to terms of familiar use a perfectly new meaning, and not from time to time to slide into the old one. When Mr. Ricardo says, that "nothing can affect 'profits but a rise of wages," p. 118; that "whatever "raises the wages of labour lowers the profits of stock," p. 231; that " high wages invariably affect the employers of labour by depriving them of a portion of "their real profits," p. 129; that "as the wages of labour "fall the profits of stock rise, and they are together always "of the same value," p. 499, he means by high wages a large proportion. But when he speaks of the "encouragement which high wages give to the increase of "population," pp. 88, 361; when he admits, that " on Principles of Political Econ." p. 48-51.
"an increase of population wages fall," p. 494; he means by high or low wages a large or small amount. Mr. McCulloch has stated, with great clearness, the difference between proportional wages and real wages, or wages estimated in money or in quantities of produce. And he adds, with equal accuracy, "If the productive"ness of industry were to diminish, proportional wages
might rise, notwithstanding that real wages, or the "absolute amount of the produce of industry falling to "the share of the labourer, might be diminished; and if, 66 on the other hand, the productiveness of industry were "to increase, proportional wages might be diminished, "while real wages might, at the same time, be increased.” Principles, &c. p. 365. And he generally uses the words "high and low wages to express, not a large or small proportion, but a large or small amount. It is in this sense that he contrasts (p. 353) the low wages of Hindostan with the high wages of America. But is this use of language consistent with his statement (p.322) that the high wages we pay to our workmen cause low profits? Or, is it consistent with the inferences drawn by the Committee from his evidence?
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MR. MURRAY, ALBEMARLE-STREET.
Three LECTURES on the COST of obtaining MONEY, and on some Effects of PRIVATE and GOVERNMENT PAPER MONEY. Delivered before the University of Oxford, in Trinity Term, 1829. By NASSAU WILLIAM SENIOR, A.M. late fellow of Magdalen College, Professor of Political Economy.
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TRANSMISSION OF THE PRECIOUS METALS
FROM COUNTRY TO COUNTRY,
MERCANTILE THEORY OF WEALTH,
DELIVERED BEFORE THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
NASSAU WILLIAM SENIOR,
LATE FELLOW OF MAGDALEN COLLEGE, A.M., PROFESSOR
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