EFFECT OF MATERIAL PROGRESS UPON THE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH
Wealth in all its forms being the product of labor applied to land or the products of land, any increase in the power of labor, the demand for wealth being unsatisfied, will be utilized in procuring more wealth, and thus increase the demand for land.
And as we can assign no limits to the progress of invention, neither can we assign any limits to the increase of rent, short of the whole produce. For, if laborsaving inventions went on until perfection was attained, and the necessity of labor in the production of wealth was entirely done away with, then everything that the earth could yield could be obtained without labor . . . . And no matter how small population might be, if anybody but the landowners continued to exist, it would be at the whim or by the mercy of the landowners-they would be maintained either for the amusement of the landowners, or, as paupers, by their bounty . . . . This point, of the absolute perfection of laborsaving inventions, may seem very remote, if not impossible of attainment; but it is a point toward which the march of invention is every day more strongly tending.
. . . in the improvements which advance rent are not only to be included the improvements which directly increase productive power, but also such improvements in government, manners, and morals as indirectly increase it. Considered as material forces, the effect of all these is to increase productive power, and like improvements in the productive arts, their benefit is ultimately monopolized by the possessors of the land . . . .And if the corrupt governments of our great American cities were to be made models of purity and economy, the effect would simply be to increase the value of land, not to rake either wages or interest.
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