A Treatise on Political Economy, Or, the Production, Distribution, and Consumption of Wealth

By Jean-Baptiste Say; Clement C. Biddle et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V.
ON THE MODE IN WHICH INDUSTRY, CAPITAL, AND NATURAL AGENTS UNITE FOR THE PURPOSE OF PRODUCTION.

WE have seen how industry, capital, and natural agents concur in production, each in its respective department; and we have likewise seen, that these three sources are indispensable to the creation of products. It is not, however, absolutely necessary that they should all belong to the same individual.

An industrious person may lend his industry to another possessed of capital and land only.

The owner of capital may lend it to an individual possessing land and industry only.

The landholder may lend his estate to a person possessing capital and industry only.

Whether the thing lent be industry, capital, or land, inasmuch as all three concur in the creation of value, their use also bears value, and is commonly paid for.

The price paid for the loan of industry is called wages.

The price paid for the loan of capital is calledinterest.

And that paid for a loan of land is called rent.

The ownership of land, capital, and industry are sometimes united in the same hands. A man who cultivates his own garden at his own expense, is at once the possessor of land, capital, and industry, and exclusively enjoys, the profit of proprietor, capitalist, and labourer.

The knife-grinder's craft requires no occupancy of land; he carries his stock in trade upon his shoulders, and his skill and industry at his fingers' ends; being at the same time adventurers a capitalist, and labourer.

It is seldom that we meet with adventurers in industry so poor, as not to own at least a share of the capital embarked in their concern. Even the common labourer generally advances some portion; the bricklayer comes with his trowel in his hand; the journeyman tailor is provided with thimble and needles; all are clothed better or worse; and though it be true, that their

____________________
a
The term entrepreneur is difficult to render in English; the corresponding word, undertaker, being already appropriated to a limited sense. It signifies, the master-manufacturer in manufacture, the farmer in agriculture, and the merchant in commerce; and generally in all three branches, the person who takes upon himself the immediate responsibility, risk, and conduct of a concern of industry, whether upon his own or a borrowed capital. For want of a better word, it will be rendered into English by the term adventurer. T.

-18-

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