of one year had not been more or less hindered 
from relieving the scarcity of another. It 
is in this set of men, accordingly, that I have 
observed the greatest zeal for the continuance 
or renewal of the bounty
Our country gentlemen, when they imposed 
the high duties upon the exportation of 
corn, which in times of moderate plenty amount 
to a prohibition, and when they established 
the bounty, seem to have imitated the 
conduct of our manufacturers. By the one 
institution, they secured to themselves the monopoly 
of the home market, and by the other 
they endeavoured to prevent that market from 
ever being overstocked with their commodity
By both they endeavoured to raise its real value, 
in the same manner as our manufacturers had, 
by the like institutions, raised the real value 
of many different sorts of manufactured goods
They did not, perhaps, attend to the great and 
essential difference which nature has established 
between corn and almost every other sort 
of goods. When, either by the monopoly of 
the home market, or by a bounty upon exportation
you enable our woollen or linen manufacturers 
to sell their goods for somewhat a 
better price than they otherwise could get for 
them, you raise, not only the nominal, but the 
real price of those goods; you render them 
equivalent to a greater quantity of labour and 
subsistence; you increase not only the nominal
but the real profit, the real wealth and 
revenue of these manufacturers; and you enable 
them, either to live better themselves, or 
to employ a greater quantity of labour in those 
particular manufactures. You really encourage 
those manufactures, and direct towards 
them a greater quantity of the industry of the 
country than what would properly go to them 
of its own accord. But when, by the like institutions
you raise the nominal or money 
price of corn, you do not raise its real value; 
you do not increase the real wealth, the real 
revenue, either of our farmers or country gentlemen
you do not encourage the growth of 
corn, because you do not enable them to maintain 
and employ more labourers in raising it. 
The nature of things has stamped upon corn 
a real value, which cannot be altered by 
merely altering its money price. No bounty 
upon exportation, no monopoly of the home 
market, can raise that value. The freest competition 
cannot lower it. Through the world 
in general, that value is equal to the quantity 
of labour which it can maintain, and in every 
particular place it is equal to the quantity of 
labour which it can maintain in the way, 
whether liberal, moderate, or scanty, in which 
labour is commonly maintained in that place
Woollen or linen cloth are not the regulating 
commodities by which the real value of all 
other commodities must be finally measured 
and determined; corn is. The real value of 
every other commodity is finally measured and 
determined by the proportion which its average 
money price bears to the average money 
price of corn. The real value of corn does 
not vary with those variations in its average 
money price, which sometimes occur from one 
century to another; it is the real value of silver 
which varies with them. 
Bounties upon the exportation of any home-made 
commodity are liable, first, to that general 
objection which may be made to all the 
different expedients of the mercantile system
the objection of forcing some part of the industry 
of the country into a channel less advantageous 
than that in which it would run 
of its own accord; and, secondly, to the particular 
objection of forcing it not only into a 
channel that is less advantageous, but into 
one that is actually disadvantageous; the trade 
which cannot be carried on but by means of a 
bounty being necessarily a losing trade. The 
bounty upon the exportation of corn is liable 
to this further objection, that it can in no respect 
promote the raising of that particular 
commodity of which it was meant to encourage 
the production. When our country gentlemen
therefore, demanded the establishment 
of the bounty, though they acted in imitation 
of our merchants and manufacturers, they did 
not act with that complete comprehension of 
their own interest, which commonly directs 
the conduct of those two other orders of people. 
They loaded the public revenue with a 
very considerable expense: they imposed
very heavy tax upon the whole body of the 
people; but they did not, in any sensible degree
increase the real value of their own commodity
and by lowering somewhat the real 
value of silver, they discouraged, in some degree
the general industry of the country, and, 
instead of advancing, retarded more or less 
the improvement of their own lands, which 
necessarily depend upon the general industry 
of the country
To encourage the production of any commodity
a bounty upon production, one should 
imagine, would have a more direct operation 
than one upon exportation. It would, besides, 
impose only one tax upon the people
that which they must contribute in order to 
pay the bounty. Instead of raising, it would 
tend to lower the price of the commodity in 
the home market; and thereby, instead of imposing 
a second tax upon the people, it might, 
at least in part, repay them for what they had 
contributed to the first. Bounties upon production
however, have been very rarely granted
The prejudices established by the commercial 
system have taught us to believe, that 
national wealth arises more immediately from 
exportation than from production. It has 
been more favoured, accordingly, as the more 
immediate means of bringing money into the 
country. Bounties upon production, it has 
been said too, have been found by experience 
more liable to frauds than those upon exportation
How far this is true, I know not.