BLTC Press Titles

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The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

An inqury into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations

by Adam Smith








Of Bounties.

Bounties upon exportation are, in Great Brstan, frequently petitioned for, and fometimes granted to the produce of particular branches of domestic industry. By means of them our merchants and manusacturers, it is pretended, will be enabted to sell their goods as cheap, or cheaper than their rivals in the foreign market. A greater quantity, it is faid, will thus be exported, and the balance of trade consequently turned more in favour ef our own country. 'We cannot give our workmen a monopoly in the foreign, as we have done in the home market. We cannot force foreigners to buy their goods, as we have done our own countrymen. The next best expedient, it has been thought, theresore, is to pay them for buying. It is in this manner that the mercantile system propofes to enrich the whole country, and to put money into all our sockets by means of the balance of trade.

Bounties, it is allowed, ought to be given to thofebranches of trade only which cannot be carried on without them. But every branch of trade in which the merchant can sell his goods for a price which replaces to him, with the ordinary prosits of stock, the whole capital employed in preparing and sending them to market, can be carried on without a bounty. Every such branch is evidently upon a level with all the other branches of trade which are carried on without bounties, and cannot theresore require one more than they. Thofe trades only require bounties in v-hich the merchant is obiiged to sell his goods for a price which does not replace to him hrs capital, together with the ordinary prosit; or in which he is obliged to sell them for less than it really costs him to send them to market. The bounty is given in order to make up this lofs, and to encourage him to continue, or perhaps to begin, a trade of i which the expence is suppofed to be greater than the returns, of which every operation eats up a part of the capital employed in it, and which is of such a nature, that, if all other trades resembled it, there would foon be no capital lest in the country.

The trades, it is to be observed, which are carried on by means of bounties, are the only ones which can be carried on between two nations for any considerable time together, in such a manner as that one of them shall always and regularly lofe, or sell its goods for less than it really costs to send them to market. But if the bounty did not repay to the merchant what he would otherwise lofe upon the price of his goods, his own interest would foon oblige him to employ his stock in another way, or to sind out a trade in which the price of the goods would replace to him, with the ordinary profit, the capital employed in sending them to market. The efsect of bounties, like that of all the other expedients of the mercantile system, can only be to force the trade of a country into ?. channel much less advantageous than that in which it would naturally run of its own accord.

The ingenious and well-informed author of the tracts upon the corn trade has- shown very clearly, that since the bounty upon the exportation of corn was sirst established, the price of the corn exported, valued moderately enough, has exceeded that of the corn imported, valued very high. \y 3 much greater sum than the amount of the whole bounties which have been paid during that period. This, he imagines, upon the true principles of the mercantile system, is a clear proof that this forced corn trade is benesicial to the nation ; the value of the exportation exceeding that of the importation by a much greater sum than the whole extraordinary expence which the public has been at in order to get it exported. He does not consider that this extraordinary expence, or the bounty, is the smallest part of the expence which the exportation of corn really costs the fociety. The capital which the farmer employed in raising it must likewise be taken into the account. Unless the price of the corn when fold in the foreign markets repiaces, not only the bounty, but this capital, together with the ordinary prosits of stock, the fociety is a lofer by the difference, or the national stock is fo much diminished. But the very reafon for which it has been thought neceflary to grant a bounty, is the suppofed insufficiency of the price to do this.

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