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Political Economy For The People | by George Tucker



The following pages are, in substance, a compendium of the lectures on Political Economy delivered by the author in the University of Virginia, with such alterations and additions as his further experience and reflection have suggested. They are now offered to the public under the belief that the subject is one of peculiar importance to a free people, whose will often directs and controls the policy of the State; and who, when they do not exert that influence, ought to know how far the sentiments of the candidates for their favor are in accordance with the true principles of national prosperity.

TitlePolitical Economy For The People
AuthorGeorge Tucker
PublisherGeorge Tucker
Year1859
Copyright1859, George Tucker
AmazonPolitical Economy for the People

By George Tucker, Formerly Representative In Congress From Virginia, And Professor Of Moral Philosophy In The University Of Virginia.

-Preface
The following pages are, in substance, a compendium of the lectures on Political Economy delivered by the author in the University of Virginia, with such alterations and additions as his further exper...
-Chapter I. Physical Causes Of National Wealth
When we survey the nations of the earth, we perceive a great diversity among them as to refinement and civilization; and if we further consult the annals of these communities, we find that while some ...
-Physical Causes Of National Wealth. Continued
III. Mines The wealth and prosperity of a State are greatly affected by its minerals; the most important of which are coal, iron, copper, lead, salt, gold, and silver; each one answering its own usef...
-Chapter II. Moral Causes Of National Wealth
These causes are principally four - industry, skill, frugality, and good government; which we will briefly notice. 1. Industry Whatever may be the bounty of Nature, her gifts must be improved by man...
-Moral Causes Of National Wealth. Continued
III. Frugality If some portion of the products of industry be not put away to aid man in his future creative operations, a nation could make no progress in wealth. It could never acquire capital, whi...
-Chapter III. Principles Of Value
In laying down the following principles, I have, in most instances, conformed to the most approved theories of value; carefully avoiding, however, those subtle questions to which speculations on the s...
-Principles Of Value. Continued
7. In commodities, the value of which arises from the scarcity, that value is determined by the offers of rival competitors. Of this character are those articles which cannot, like those of the first ...
-Chapter IV. The Progress Of Society
Such are the principles of exchangeable value which we perceive have their foundation in the innate desires and propensities of man. Let us now see their application to the three great sources of nati...
-Chapter V. Rent
Land, which had probably become private property in the pastoral state, would certainly become so in the agricultural state. As every material thing, useful to man, is directly or indirectly derived f...
-Rent. Continued
There are several circumstances which check and retard, without arresting the gradual rise of raw produce, by augmenting its supply: First. The resort to poorer and poorer soils, the cultivation of w...
-Chapter VI. The Different Species Of Rent
It often happens that the proprietor of land wants the skill, or the capital, or the inclination to cultivate it, and by renting it, he, the tenant, and the State would be gainers. The benefit may, ho...
-Rent Of Mines
Various minerals useful to man are also sources of rent. They differ from arable land in this important particular: they possess not, like the fertility of the soil, the advantage of being perpetually...
-Chapter VII. On Labor
It would be to little purpose that man had been liberally furnished with valuable materials, if they were not also improved, by his industry and skill, into the means of ministering to his wants and c...
-Chapter VIII. Agricultural Industry
When the cultivation of the earth was first resorted to for the purpose of meeting the wants of an increasing population, agriculture was naturally rude and imperfect, compared with what it afterwards...
-Agricultural Industry. Part 2
In this gradual reduction of the wages of labor, when population is checked neither by the self-restraining prudence of individuals nor by great public calamities, what is the lowest point to which th...
-Agricultural Industry. Part 3
On the other hand, slavery has been thought to beget overbearing manners, and to have an unpropi-tious influence on the temper. This opinion, which seems plausible, was adopted by Mr. Jefferson, and h...
-Chapter IX. Manufacturing Industry
Of the three great employments of national industry, that of giving to raw produce the forms adapted to the purposes of man, or of manufactures, requires the most manual adroitness. In this talent the...
-Manufacturing Industry. Part 2
There are some trades which are held by popular sentiment in disrespect, as requiring less manly qualities, or as subjecting their followers to menial services; such are those of barbers and tailors. ...
-Manufacturing Industry. Part 3
All these facts show the undue predominance of hope in our estimates of the future. Wherever, then, the profits of an employment are occasionally large, but precarious, they are certain to be over-rat...
-Chapter X. Commercial Industry
Different countries, in consequence of diversities of climate or soil, produce useful articles in peculiar abundance and cheapness; and occasionally produce commodities that some regions cannot produc...
-Commercial Industry. Continued
This course of policy, called the mercantile system, involved more than one error. It was a mistake to suppose that there was any peculiar advantage in receiving the precious metals, or peculiar disad...
-Chapter XI. Mental Industry
In treating of profitable industry, we must not pretermit mental labor, which contributes so largely to all the higher interests of the State. Intellectual industry may be classed under the higher pub...
-Mental Industry. Continued
It has been remarked that the inventors of valuable discoveries are commonly ill rewarded, and that the price which the public pays for the new benefit is obtained by a very inferior class of men, who...
-Chapter XI. Capital
We will now consider the third great source of national wealth - capital; by which is meant that portion of the former products which has been saved for future use, and which may consist of provisions...
-Capital. Part 2
But everywhere the market rate of interest is liable to incessant fluctuations, according to the variations in the supply or the demand for capital. Thus, interest rises when there is a deficiency in...
-Capital. Part 3
The usury laws tend in several ways to injure the class which they were designed to serve. In the first place, they lessen the amount of money that is ready to be lent; many persons being unwilling ei...
-Chapter XII. Money
The money of a community performs very important functions, and has laws and principles of its own. It is characterized by a degree of mobility or activity to which no other species of capital can app...
-Money. Part 2
By reason of these recommendations, gold and silver are used for money in every quarter of the world; and one or both are made the standard of the value of everything else. In countries in which thos...
-Money. Part 3
The quantity of money wanted in a country, being in proportion to the amount of its exchanges, is affected by various circumstances. Thus, where land is a common subject of traffic, as it is in most p...
-Money. Part 4
In some countries the cost of coinage is defrayed by the government; while in others, it is paid for by those who bring bullion to the mint to be coined, and the charge is called a seignorage. This ch...
-Money. Part 5
But coinage will not add to the present consumption of gold beyond what will be required to meet the increase of traffic consequent on the increase of population and wealth. The whole amount of gold c...
-Chapter XIII. Banks
Or these institutions there are two kinds: banks of deposit, and banks of circulation. Of the first kind, there are but few examples. The most celebrated bank of this description, though not the earli...
-Banks. Part 2
A similar result was witnessed in 1857. In consequence of the large supplies of gold received from California, the banks had all lent liberally, and issued paper in excess. When, then, one of the most...
-Banks. Part 3
With these and other similar restrictions, as experience should develope their necessity, the public would be more effectually guarded against the imprudence of these institutions than they can be by ...
-Chapter XIV. Consumption
The end and object of all production is consumption; for why should men exert bodily toil or mental care in producing, except for the gratification afforded by consuming, or using what had been produc...
-Consumption. Part 2
The Land Tax As the land of every civilized and populous community constitutes the largest item of its property - is the main source of its annual income, and cannot be withdrawn from the reach of th...
-Consumption. Part 3
Excise This term is commonly applied to a tax or duty on home-made articles; and, like the impost, is paid by the consumer of the articles, who, in purchasing them, pays the tax. It is occasionally e...
-Capitation, Or Poll Taxes
These, from their simplicity, were formerly much resorted to; but since, when they are uniform, they cannot yield much, and when they vary with the fortunes of individuals they are unequal, and leave ...
-Chapter XV. Public Debts
But it sometimes happens that a nation is urged to incur expenses to which its ordinary revenue is inadequate. It is called upon to resist an invasion by foreign enemies, or to suppress a serious dome...
-Chapter XVI. The Public Expenditure
Of those establishments required by the public welfare which the Government alone is competent to provide, the following are the principal: An army to repel foreign invasions, or to suppress domestic...
-Chapter XVII. Education
Of all the political institutions which the wit of man has devised, none seems to be of so much importance as those which provide for juvenile instruction. The duties of a citizen in a civilized commu...
-Chapter XVIII. Public Charities
In every country, however rich or prosperous, the great mass of the people have an expenditure which is equal to their income, and is not easily capable of reduction. They are, of course, unprepared f...
-Chapter XIX. Roads And Canals
A large part of the labor of every country, as we have seen, is expended in transporting commodities from the place of production to the place of consumption; and whatever can be saved of this expense...









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