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Useful Knowledge for the Producers of Wealth

Useful Knowledge for the Producers of Wealth

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Excerpt from Useful Knowledge for the Producers of Wealth: Being an Enquiry Into the Nature of Trade, the Currency, the Protective and Internal Improvement Systems, and Into the Origin and Effects of Banking and Paper Money

In looking into matters and things of this world, and "settling the affairs of the nation," there are some that arrest the attention of every person. Trade is a matter that has often attracted my attention, and, I think, now requires me to explain, in my own way, its nature and abuses, the conclusions I have come to, and the reasoning which led me to these conclusions.

Trade is the exchanging the produce of labor, or property: it is the Barter of the Westerners, the swap of the Yankees, the Wrap of the English, and the commerce of the world. It is the grand distinctive mark of civilization; and when kept within just bounds, is of very great advantage to a people, and next in benefit to being able to produce property by labor.

In this examination it will be necessary, after describing the nature of trade and the use of money, to scrutinize pretty closely the Banking System; Usury; the American System, alias Home Protection, alias the Tariff; the Internal Improvement System; and Legislation as connected with the abuses of trade.

The great advantage of trade to society consists in its permitting one individual to produce one kind of article only, of use or luxury to the community. Each individual confining himself to the production of one thing or kind of thing, becomes very learned in the nature and constitution, and very expert in the production of that thing; and he is enabled to introduce all the facilities to that production which it is possible to introduce, as they naturally present themselves to a mind learned in the subject, and interested in the accomplishment of those facilities.

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