Adam Smith's Simplified Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 11o: Rent, Digression -- Effect of Improvement on the real value of natural produce that can be multiplied according to demand

Chapter 11n, Digression: Produce that can be multiplied according to demand

195 The second kind is the rude produce which human industry can multiply in proportion to the demand.

196 For example, cattle prices can rise so high that it becomes profitable to cultivate food for them. 197 Until cattle prices has reached this height, it is impossible that most lands can be completely cultivated.
  1. The poverty of the tenants
    • It prevented them from acquiring the cattle needed to cultivate their lands better.
  2. If they could acquire the cattle, they did not have the time to cultivate their lands
    1. The increase of stock and the improvement of land must go hand in hand.
      • One can never much outrun the other.
    2. Without some increase of stock, there can be no improvement of land.
      • There can be no considerable increase of stock unless there is a considerable improvement of land.
      • Otherwise the land could not maintain it.
198 In all new colonies, the great amount of waste land used for the feeding of cattle soon renders cattle extremely abundant and cheap.
A picture commonly believed to be of Pehr Kalm
Peter Kalm
199 Cattle can command a high price late in the progress of improvement to make it profitable to cultivate land for feeding them.

Deer Meat

200 Venison is among the last parts of this kind of rude produce which can bring this high price. 201 There is a very long interval in the progress of improvement for other kinds of rude produce to gradually arrive at their highest price according to different circumstances.


202 In every farm, the offals of the barn and stables will maintain poultry.


203 The hog eats food among dung and greedily devours many things rejected by other animals.
Count de Buffon
Count de Buffon
204 The great rise in the price of hogs and poultry in Great Britain was frequently imputed to the reduction of the number of cottagers and small occupiers of land.


205 The dairy business, like the feeding of hogs and poultry, is originally carried on as a save-all.

Importance of Commercial Viability

206 All lands can only be completely cultivated and improved if the price of every produce is high enough to pay for the cost of complete improvement and cultivation. 207 This rise in the nominal or money-price of all those rude produce has been the effect of a rise in their real price.
Next: Chapter 11p, Digression: 3rd Sort
Words: 2,552