Chapter 15

Some Excesses and evils in the Nation which decay not our Trade nor Treasure

January 19, 2020

If we mistake the nature of the disease, then we will not be able to have cures.

People want to to turn lending into charity and make the Rich lend to the poor freely because it would please God, and be profitable to the Commonwealth. What is the proof that trade decreases as interest rates increase?

It is true that some men overtrade. They buy Lands or lend their Money when they are grown rich, old, or some other occasion at high interest. This lets the rich give opportunity to the younger & poorer Merchants to rise in the world, and enlarge their dealings. It does not follow that trade must lessen as consequence.

Many Merchants and Shop-keepers have begun with nothing of their own. Yet they have grown very rich by trading with other men’s money. When the economy is good, experienced credit-worthy people can borrow at high interest. Their diligence increases the affairs of the Commonwealth. The use the money of Widows, Orphans, Lawyers, Gentlemen and others for Foreign Trade

Many men have much money in their chests and do not know how to use it. But Merchants will not borrow it even at low interest if the economy is not doing good.

Thus, we prove on the contrary that Trade and interest rates rise and fall together.

So that for these, and some other reasons which might be alledged, we might conclude, contrary to those who affirm, that , for they rise and fall together. In the next place, we hear

Our Lawyers are much condemned for the many lawsuits they create which exceed all the other Christian Kingdoms. But is this from=

  • the covetousness of lawyers, or
  • the people’s perverseness?

Lawsuits make many people poor and penniless. But I cannot conceive how lawsuits reduce trade, because one man’s loss is another’s victory.

Our trade has never decayed from a lack of Merchants or Means to employ us. Instead, trade decays from excessive imports or reduced exports caused by wars or some peacetime changes mentioned in Chapter 3.

Lawyers are necessary for all. Their Cases, Quillets, Delayes and Charges, are mischievous to many. These things indeed are cancers in the Estates of particular men, but not of the Commonwealth, for one man’s loss becomes another mans gain.

Lastly, we should not become so frugal as to not import, because it would also reduce our exports. What will become of our Ships, Mariners, Munitions, our poor Artificers, and many others? Will other Countries give us money for our goods, without buying theirs?

It would be better to run a middle course by spending moderately, which will purchase treasure plentifully.

The pomp of Buildings, Apparel, etc in the Nobility, Gentry, and other able persons, cannot impoverish the Kingdom if it is done with costly works on our Materials and by our own people. It will maintain the poor with the purse of the rich, which is the best distribution of the Commonwealth.

But I agree that the Fishing industry would be a better employment, and far more profitable. In big business there is means enough to employ both rich and poor.


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