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Economics

The idea of trade and commerce naturally leads us to the consideration of the sublime science of Political Economy, which endeavours to dogmatize that profound conundrum, that the natural rate of wages is that which barely affords the labourer the means of subsistence , and of continuing the race of labourers—meaning thereby, the starvation point at which a labourer can be worked. It is assumed that the labourer has so much work in him, and the problem is to draw it out at the least possible cost—of whip or legal enactment—or police forces or military expenditure.

Another leading doctrine of the political economists is, the fatal necessity of starvation. It is maintained, and that seriously, that "God, when he made man, intended that he should be starved;" that human fecundity tends to get the start of the means of subsistence; that the former moves as 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64; but the latter only as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. The consequence drawn from this proposition is, that poor-laws, or any efforts of charity, are only a childish indulgence of feeling; for since there will be a surplus number, who must at all events be starved, if the life of one is saved by charity, whether public or private, it is only that another may be starved in its stead. Hence the perishing of annual multitudes may be looked upon as a proof of the national wealth; and the poor-law system, and the Queen's Letter, but so much concern utterly useless; and the only remedy for our abundant population is for us to return to the system of the ancients, and legalize a few Herods, or, to go further back, to make every man a Saturn—the eater of his own children.