Notes on Ricardo’s Principles (55) 賃金8 Wages 8

中湖 康太


Ricardo’s theory on the distribution of national dividend depends primarily on the scarcity of land, in particular, that of superior land. With the accumulation of capital and the increase of population, the share of rent, or landlords tends to increase. Off the subject, Ricardo may have had a critical eye on feudalistic and aristocratic ownership of land, in Europe in those days. He seems to be sympathetic to laboring class, perhaps. How did he see the enterprise and entrepreneurship?



Notwithstanding, then, that the laborer would be really worse paid, yet this increase in his wages would necessarily diminish the profits of the manufacturer; for his goods would sell at no higher price, and yet the expense of producing them would be increased. This, however, will be considered in our examination into the principles which regulate profits.


It appears, then, that the same cause which raises rent, namely, the increasing difficulty of providing and additional quantity of food with the same proportional quantity of labor, will also raise wages; and therefore, if money be of an unvarying value, both rent and wages will have a tendency to rise with the progress of wealth and population.


But here is this essential difference between the rise of rent and the rise of wages. The rise in the money value of rent is accompanied by an increased share of the produce; not only is the landlord’s money rent greater, but his corn rent also; he will have more corn, and each defined measure of that corn will exchange for a greater quantity of all other goods which have not been raised in value.


The fate of the laborer will be less happy; he will receive more money wages, it is true, but his corn wages will be reduced; and not only his command of corn, but his general condition will be deteriorated, by his finding it more difficult to maintain the market rate of wages above their natural rate. While the price of corn rises 10 percent, wages will always rise less than 10 percent, but rent will always rise more; the condition of the laborer will generally decline, and that of the landlord will always be improved.

続く to be continued.

Kota Nakako


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