Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page



To the Editor of the Monmouthshire…





POLITICAL ECONOMY. On one occasion, when Mr. Burke was entering the village of Tilford, he overtook Mr. Effingham, walking slowly with his head bent down, and his hands in his pockets. He looked up when greeted by his friend, who accosted him with-" I am afraid your are to be one of my patients to-day, to judge by your gait and countenance. What can be the matter ? No misfor- tune at home, I hope." "No but I have just heard some- thing that has shocked me very much. There is an execution at Dale's." How hard that poor man has struggled," observed Mr. Burke and has it even come to this at last?" Even so, and through no fault of his own that I can see." They are distraining for the rate." Aye that is the way, Effingham thus is our pauper-list swelling, year by year it grows at both ends. Paupers multiply their own numbers as fast as they can, and rate-payers sink down into rate-receivers. This will pro- bably be Dale's fate, as it has been that of many little farmers before him and if it is, he will only anticipate by a few years the fate of others besides small farmers-of shopkeepers, ma- nufacturers, merchants, and agriculturists of every class, always, providing that some radical amendments of the system does not take place." God help us," cried Effingham 5 if so our security is gone as a nation, and as individuals." At present, Effingham, the security of property is to the pauper, and not to the proprietor, however rich he may be. The proprietor is com- pelled, as in the case before us, to pay more and more to the rate, till his profits are absorbed, and he is obliged to relinquish his undertakings one after another field after field goes out of cultivation, his capital is gradually tranferred to his wages' fund, and which is paid away without bringing an adequate return and when all but his fixed capital is gone, that became liable to seizure, and the ruin is complete. There is no more security of propeity under such a system, than there is security of life to a poor wretch in a quicksand, who feels himself swallowed up inch by inch." It is very odd," said Effingham, that none of the checks that have ever been tried, have done any good they seem rather to have made the matter worse." I do not think it strange, Effingham. None of the remedies have struck at the root of the evil, and none could therefore effect lasting good. The test is just this do they tend to lessen the number of the indigent ? Unless they do this, they may afford relief to a generation, or shift a burden from one district to another, or from one class of producers upon another but they will not im- prove the system. I think I dare undertake to prove to any rational being, that national distress cannot be relieved by money, and that, consequently, individual distress cannot be so relieved without inflicting the same portion of distress elsewhere. A child can see that if there is so much bread in a country and no more, if part is given away, the price of bread will rise, and some who could buy before must go without now, which many surplus labourers oa the road feel, saying they are anxious to be em- ployed in the better cultivation of lands now in tillage, or to be allowed to hire such small portions of waste land as would em- ploy the days their services are not engaged by others, and the rents of such small tenants have been eminently well paid. But in some places this has been objected to, from fearing that if produce increased, prices would fall but surely, in 1831, farm- ers would not have been losers if they could have supplied the 2,319,461 quarters of wheat (nearly equal to the fifth-part of the average growth of England and Scotland) which were imported } and if they had raised more than was wanted, are there not capi- talists in London, &c., ready to have stored it till the ports would otherwise be open to foreign corn, and England be sup- plied with her now burthensome hands, instead of in scarce sea- sons depending on foreignersâperhaps enemies ?"-ILlustmtions of Political Economy.

[No title]