Economic Sophisms/79

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<pagequality level="3" user="Zoeannl" />style="background: #ececec; text-align: left; padding-left: 0.5em; font-weight: bold;" class="table-rh"to improving his agricultural implements and farm buildings. He had even some savings in the neighbouring town with his banker, who, of course, did not let the money lie idle in his till, but lent it to shipowners and contractors for public works, so that these savings were always resolving themselves into wages.

At length the countryman died, and his son, who succeeded him, said to himself, "My father was a dupe all his life. He purchased oil, and so paid tribute to Provence, whilst our own land, with some pains, can be made to grow the olive. He bought cloth, wine, and oranges, and thus paid tribute to Brittany, Medoc, and Hyères, whilst we can cultivate hemp, the vine, and the orange tree with more or less success. He paid tribute to the miller and the weaver, whilst our own domestics can weave our linen and grind our wheat." In this way he ruined himself, and spent among strangers that money which he might have spent at home.

Misled by such reasoning, the volatile youth changed his rotation of crops. His land he divided into twenty divisions. In one he planted olives, in another mulberry trees, in a third he sowed flax, in a fourth he had vines, in a fifth wheat, and so on. By this means he succeeded in supplying his family with what they required, and felt himself independent. He no longer drew anything from the general circulation, nor did he add anything to it. Was he the richer for this? No; for the soil was not adapted for the cultivation of the vine, and the climate was not fitted for the successful cultivation of the olive; and he was not long in finding out that his family was less plentifully provided with all the things which they wanted than in the time of his father, who procured them by exchanging his surplus produce.

As regarded his workmen, they had no more employment than formerly. There were five times more fields, but each field was five times smaller; they produced oil, but they produced less wheat; he, no longer purchased linens, but he no longer sold rye. Moreover, the farmer could expend in wages only the amount of his capital, and his capital went on constantly diminishing. A great part of it went for buildings, and the various implements needed for the more varied cultivation in which he had engaged. In short, the supply of labour Template:HwsTemplate:Smallrefs