New version page

Physiocrats

This preview shows page 1-2-3-4 out of 11 pages.

View Full Document
View Full Document

End of preview. Want to read all 11 pages?

Upload your study docs or become a GradeBuddy member to access this document.

View Full Document
Unformatted text preview:

The Physiocrats or Les économistesWho were they?SignificanceSlide 4Turgot, Reflections on . . . Wealth, 1774Slide 6Slide 7Slide 8Slide 9Slide 10Slide 11The Physiocratsor Les économistesWho were they?•François Quesnay (1694-1774) - Leader of the school and inventor of the Tableau économique. Came to economics in his 60s, after serving as physician to King Louis XV at Versailles and writing in medicine, biology, and philosophy•Victor Riqueti, Marquis de Mirabeau - Wrote Explication du Tableau économique (1759)•Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours (1739-1817) Editor of school’s journal and published La Physiocratie (1767). Later, founded industrial giant and moved to U.S.•P.P. le Mercier de la Rivière (1719-92)•Anne Robert Jacques Turgot (1727-81) Not fully a Physiocrat, but defended and popularized their doctrines and implemented them as as Finance Minister, 1774-76.Significance•First school of economists•Policy–Brief impact (Turgot, Fin. Min., 1774-76)–Laissez faire rooted in natural law–Single tax on agricultural rents–Defense of usury•Theory (Tableau Economique)–Wealth = consumables–Importance of domestic trade–Circular flow concept (Marx, Keynes, Leontief)–Analysis of productive/unproductive classes“Incontestably the most brilliant idea of which political economy had hitherto been guilty.” Karl MarxTurgot, Reflections on . . . Wealth, 17745. Pre-eminence of the husbandman who produces, over the artificer who prepares. The husbandman is the first mover in the circulation of labour: it is he who causes the earth to produce the wages of every artificer. This is not a pre-eminence of honour or of dignity, but of physical necessity. The husbandman can, generally speaking, subsist without the labour of other workmen; but no other workmen can labour, if the husbandman does not provide him wherewith to exist. . . . There is here a very essential difference between these two species of labour, on which it is necessary to reflect...Turgot, Reflections on . . . Wealth, 1774 6. The wages of the workman is limited by the competition among those who work for a subsistence. The mere workman, who depends only on his Lands and his industry, has nothing but such part of his labour as he is able to dispose of to others. He sells it at a cheaper or a dearer price; but this high or low price does not depend on himself alone; it results from the agreement he has made with the person who employs him. The latter pays him as little as he can help, and as he has the choice from among a great number of workmen, he prefers the person who works cheapest. The workmen are therefore obliged to lower their price in opposition to each other. In every species of labour it must, and, in effect, it does happen, that the wages of the workman is confined merely to what is necessary to procure him a subsistence.Turgot, Reflections on . . . Wealth, 1774 7. The husbandman is the only one whose industry produces more than the wages of his labour. He, therefore, is the only source of all Wealth. The situation of the husbandman is materially different. The soil, independent of any other man, or of any agreement, pays him immediately the price of his toil. Nature does not bargain with him, or compel him to content himself with what is absolutely necessary.Turgot, Reflections on . . . Wealth, 1774 12. Inequality in the division of property: causes which render that inevitable. The original proprietors would . . .occupy as much land as their strength would permit them with their families to cultivate. A man of greater strength, more laborious, more attentive about the future, would occupy more than a man of a contrary character. He, whose family is the most numerous having greater wants and more hands, extends his possessions further; this is a first cause of inequality. -- Every piece of ground is not equally fertile; . . . this is a second source of inequality. Property in descending from fathers to their children, divides into greater or less portions, . . . this is a third source of inequality. The difference of knowledge, of activity, and, above all, the oeconomy of some, contrasted with the indolence, inaction, and dissipation of others, is a fourth principle of inequality, and the most powerful of all: . . . .Turgot, Reflections on . . . Wealth, 1774 15. A new division of society into three classes. Cultivators, Artificers, and Proprietors, or the productive, stipendiary, and disposible classes. We now behold society divided into three branches; the class of husbandmen, whom we may denominate cultivators; the class of artificers and others, who work for hire upon the productions of the earth; and the class of proprietors, the only one which, not being confined by a want of support to a particular species of labour, may be employed in the general service of society, as for war, and the administration of justice, either by a personal service, or by the payment of a part of their revenue, with which the state may hire others to fill these employments. The appellation which suits the best with this division, for this reason, is that of the disposable class.Turgot, Reflections on . . . Wealth, 177473. Errors of the schoolmen refuted. It is for want of having examined the lending of money on interest in its true point of view that moralists, more rigid than enlightened, would endeavour to make us look on it as a crime.. . A loan of money is a reciprocal contract, free between both parties, and entered into only by reason of its being mutually advantageous. It is evident, if the lender finds an advantage in receiving an interest for his money, the borrower is not less interested in finding that money he stands in need of, since otherwise he would not borrow and submit himself to the payment of interest. Now on this principle, can any one look on such an advantageous contract as a crime, in which both parties are content, and which certainly does no injury to any other person?Turgot, Reflections on . . . Wealth, 177476. The rate of interest ought to be fixed, as the price of every other merchandize, by the course of trade alone. I have already said, that the price of money borrowed, is regulated like the price of all other merchandize, by the proportion of the money at market with the demand for it: thus, when there are many borrowers who are in want of money, the interest of money rises; when there are many possessors who are ready to lend, it falls. It is


Loading Unlocking...
Login

Join to view Physiocrats and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Physiocrats and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?