the rent of the landlord. It is, therefore, a 
productive expense
Mercantile stock is equally barren and unproductive 
with manufacturing stock. It 
only continues the existence of its own value, 
without producing any new value. Its profits 
are only the repayment of the maintenance 
which its employer advances to himself during 
the time that he employs it, or till he receives 
the returns of it. They are only the 
repayment of a part of the expense which must 
be laid out in employing it. 
The labour of artificers and manufacturers 
never adds any thing to the value of the whole 
annual amount of the rude produce of the 
land. It adds, indeed, greatly to the value 
of some particular parts of it. But the consumption 
which, in the mean time, it occasions 
of other parts, is precisely equal to the 
value which it adds to those parts; so that 
the value of the whole amount is not, at any 
one moment of time, in the least augmented 
by it. The person who works the lace of a 
pair of fine ruffles for example, will sometimes 
raise the value of, perhaps, a pennyworth 
of flax to L.30 sterling. But though, 
at first sight, he appears thereby to multiply the 
value of a part of the rude produce about seven 
thousand and two hundred times, he in reality 
adds nothing to the value of the whole annual 
amount of the rude produce. The working 
of that lace costs him, perhaps, two years labour
The L.30 which he gets for it when 
it is finished, is no more than the repayment 
of the subsistence which he advances to himself 
during the two years that he is employed 
about it. The value which, by every 
day's, month's, or year's labour, he adds to 
the flax, does no more than replace the value 
of his own consumption during that day
month, or year. At no moment of time
therefore, does he add any thing to the value 
of the whole annual amount of the rude produce 
of the land: the portion of that produce 
which he is continually consuming, being 
always equal to the value which he is continually 
producing. The extreme poverty of 
the greater part of the persons employed in 
this expensive, though trifling manufacture
may satisfy us that the price of their work 
does not, in ordinary cases, exceed the value 
of their subsistence. It is otherwise with the 
work of farmers and country labourers. The 
rent of the landlord is a value which, in ordinary 
cases, it is continually producing over 
and above replacing, in the most complete 
manner, the whole consumption, the whole 
expense laid out upon the employment and 
maintenance both of the workmen and of their 
Artificers, manufacturers, and merchants
can augment the revenue and wealth of their 
society by parsimony only; or, as it is expressed 
in this system, by privation, that is, by depriving 
themselves of a part of the funds 
destined for their own subsistence. They 
annually reproduce nothing but those funds
Unless, therefore, they annually save some 
part of them, unless they annually deprive 
themselves of the enjoyment of some part of 
them, the revenue and wealth of their society 
can never be, in the smallest degree, augmented 
by means of their industry. Farmers 
and country labourers, on the contrary, may 
enjoy completely the whole funds destined 
for their own subsistence, and yet augment
at the same time, the revenue and wealth of 
their society. Over and above what is destined 
for their own subsistence, their industry 
annually affords a neat produce, of which the 
augmentation necessarily augments the revenue 
and wealth of their society. Nations, 
therefore, which like France or England
consist in a great measure, of proprietors 
and cultivators, can be enriched by industry 
and enjoyment. Nations, on the contrary 
which, like Holland and Hamburgh, are composed 
chiefly of merchants, artificers, and 
manufacturers, can grow rich only through 
parsimony and privation. As the interest of 
nations so differently circumstanced is very 
different, so is likewise the common character 
of the people. In those of the former kind, 
liberality, frankness, and good fellowship
naturally make a part of their common character; 
in the latter, narrowness, meanness, and 
a selfish disposition, averse to all social pleasure 
and enjoyment
The unproductive class, that of merchants
artificers, and manufacturers, is maintained 
and employed altogether at the expense of the 
two other classes, of that of proprietors, and 
of that of cultivators. They furnish it both 
with the materials of its work, and with the 
fund of its subsistence, with the corn and 
cattle which it consumes while it is employed 
about that work. The proprietors and cultivators 
finally pay both the wages of all the 
workmen of the unproductive class, and the 
profits of all their employers. Those workmen 
and their employers are properly the 
servants of the proprietors and cultivators
They are only servants who work without 
doors, as menial servants work within. Both 
the one and the other, however, are equally 
maintained at the expense of the same masters
The labour of both is equally unproductive
It adds nothing to the value of the 
sum total of the rude produce of the land
Instead of increasing the value of that sum 
total, it is a charge and expense which must 
be paid out of it. 
The unproductive class, however, is not 
only useful, but greatly useful, to the other 
two classes. By means of the industry of 
merchants, artificers, and manufacturers, the 
proprietors and cultivators can purchase both 
the foreign goods and the manufactured produce 
of their own country, which they have 
occasion for, with the produce of a much