In a year of sudden and extraordinary plenty, there are funds in the hands of many of the employers of industry sufficient to maintain and employ a greater number of industrious people than had been employed the year before; and this extraordinary number cannot always be had. These vary everywhere from year to year, frequently from month to month. In that and the following year it greatly exceeded what it had ever been before, and it has continued to advance ever since. Both suppose the weekly expense of such families to be about twenty pence a head.  It deserves to be remarked, perhaps, that it is in the progressive state, while the society is advancing to the further acquisition, rather than when it has acquired its full complement of riches, that the condition of the labouring poor, of the great body of the people, seems to be the happiest and the most comfortable. The demand for those who live by wages, therefore, naturally increases with the increase of national wealth, and cannot possibly increase without it. Something of the same kind happens in many other trades, in which the workmen are paid by the piece, as they generally are in manufactures, and even in country labour, wherever wages are higher than ordinary. In some places one half the children born die before they are four years of age; in many places before they are seven; and in almost all places before they are nine or ten. Though their marriages are generally more fruitful than those of people of fashion, a smaller proportion of their children arrive at maturity. The scarcity of hands occasions a competition among masters, who bid against one another, in order to get workmen, and thus voluntarily break through the natural combination of masters not to raise wages. In the ordinary variations of the price of provisions those two opposite causes seem to counterbalance one another, which is probably in part the reason why the wages of labour are everywhere so much more steady and permanent than the price of provisions. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.  In cheap years, it is pretended, workmen are generally more idle, and in dear ones more industrious than ordinary. What takes place among the labourers in a particular workhouse takes place, for the same reason, among those of a great society. These prices are all above the London price; and wages are said to be as high in the other colonies as in New York. The money price of labour is necessarily regulated by two circumstances; the demand for labour, and the price of the necessaries and conveniences of life. For the same reason, he endeavours to supply them with the best machinery which either he or they can think of.  It is not the actual greatness of national wealth, but its continual increase, which occasions a rise in the wages of labour.  Every species of animals naturally multiplies in proportion to the means of their subsistence, and no species can ever multiply beyond it. It is found to do so even at Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, where the wages of common labour are so very high. It seems, however, to have been long stationary. It appears from his account, which is copied from the registers of the public offices, that the quantity and value of the goods made in all those three manufactures has generally been greater in cheap than in dear years; and that it has always been greatest in the cheapest, and least in the dearest years. More people want employment than can easily get it; many are willing to take it upon lower terms than ordinary, and the wages of both servants and journeymen frequently sink in dear years. The common complaint that luxury extends itself even to the lowest ranks of the people, and that the labouring poor will not now be contented with the same food, clothing, and lodging which satisfied them in former times, may convince us that it is not the money price of labour only, but its real recompense, which has augmented. Go to prior chapter The same cause, however, which raises the wages of labour, the increase of stock, tends to increase its productive powers, and to make a smaller quantity of labour produce a greater quantity of work. In foundling hospitals, and among the children brought up by parish charities, the mortality is still greater than among those of the common people. Upon examining, however, the accounts which have been published of their annual produce, I have not been able to observe that its variations have had any sensible connection with the dearness or cheapness of the seasons. To complain of it is to lament over the necessary effect and cause of the greatest public prosperity. Lord Chief Justice Hales, who wrote in the time of Charles II, computes the necessary expense of a labourer's family, consisting of six persons, the father and mother, two children able to do something, and two not able, at ten shillings a week, or twenty-six pounds a year. In England the improvements of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce began much earlier than in Scotland. Such a difference of prices, which it seems is not always sufficient to transport a man from one parish to another, would necessarily occasion so great a transportation of the most bulky commodities, not only from one parish to another, but from one end of the kingdom, almost from one end of the world to the other, as would soon reduce them more nearly to a level. The demand for servants increases, while the number of those who offer to supply that demand diminishes. The money price of labour is necessarily regulated by two circumstances; the demand for labour, and the price of the necessaries and conveniences of life.  A French author of great knowledge and ingenuity, Mr. Messance, receiver of the taillies in the election of St. Etienne, endeavours to show that the poor do more work in cheap than in dear years, by comparing the quantity and value of the goods made upon those different occasions in three different manufactures; one of coarse woollens carried on at Elbeuf; one of linen, and another of silk, both which extend through the whole generality of Rouen. A plentiful subsistence, therefore, it has been concluded, relaxes, and a scanty one quickens their industry. ... as the vaccine rollout and the approach of summer boosts demand for things like restaurant meals and hotel rooms.  The demand for those who live by wages, therefore, necessarily increases with the increase of the revenue and stock of every country, and cannot possibly increase without it. The wages of labour are the encouragement of industry, which, like every other human quality, improves in proportion to the encouragement it receives. But in 1756, another year of great scarcity, the Scotch manufacture made more than ordinary advances. If it is not complied with, the consequences are often dangerous, and sometimes fatal, and such as almost always, sooner or later, brings on the peculiar infirmity of the trade. That a little more plenty than ordinary may render some workmen idle, cannot well be doubted; but that it should have this effect upon the greater part, or that men in general should work better when they are ill fed than when they are well fed, when they are disheartened than when they are in good spirits, when they are frequently sick than when they are generally in good health, seems not very probable. Something of the same kind happens in many other trades, in which the workmen are paid by the piece, as they generally are in manufactures, and even in country labour, wherever wages are higher than ordinary. Jimmie Rodgers led him to Marty Robbins, Tex Ritter, and local Candian cowboy and western legends, such as Ian Tyson, who wrote the well known songs “Four Strong Winds'' and “Summer Wages''.