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Let us then do honour to revolutions by justice, and give
currency to their principles by blessings.

Having thus in a few words, opened the merits of the case, I shall now
proceed to the plan I have to propose, which is,

To create a National Fund, out of which there shall be paid to every
person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen
pounds sterling, as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or
her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed
property:

And also, the sum of ten pounds per annum, during life, to every person
now living, of the age of fifty years, and to all others as they shall
arrive at that age.



MEANS BY WHICH THE FUND IS TO BE CREATED.

I have already established the principle, namely, that the earth, in its
natural uncultivated state was, and ever would have continued to be, the
_common property of the human race_; that in that state, every person
would have been born to property; and that the system of landed
property, by its inseparable connection with cultivation, and with what
is called civilized life, has absorbed the property of all those whom
it dispossessed, without providing, as ought to have been done, an
indemnification for that loss.

The fault, however, is not in the present possessors. No complaint is
intended, or ought to be alleged against them, unless they adopt the
crime by opposing justice. The fault is in the system, and it has stolen
imperceptibly upon the world, aided afterwards by the agrarian law of
the sword. But the fault can be made to reform itself by successive
generations; and without diminishing or deranging the property of any of
the present possessors, the operation of the fund can yet commence, and
be in full activity, the first year of its establishment, or soon after,
as I shall shew.

It is proposed that the payments, as already stated, be made to every
person, rich or poor. It is best to make it so, to prevent invidious
distinctions. It is also right it should be so, because it is in lieu of
the natural inheritance, which, as a right, belongs to every man, over
and above the property he may have created, or inherited from those who
did. Such persons as do not choose to receive it can throw it into the
common fund.

Taking it then for granted that no person ought to be in a worse
condition when born under what is called a state of civilization, than
he would have been had he been born in a state of nature, and that
civilization ought to have made, and ought still to make, provision for
that purpose, it can only be done by subtracting from property a portion
equal in value to the natural inheritance it has absorbed.

Various methods may be proposed for this purpose, but that which appears
to be the best (not only because it will operate without deranging any
present possessors, or without interfering with the collection of taxes
or emprunts necessary for the purposes of government and the revolution,
but because it will be the least troublesome and the most effectual, and
also because the subtraction will be made at a time that best admits it)
is at the moment that.. property is passing by the death of one person
to the possession of another. In this case, the bequeather gives
nothing: the receiver pays nothing. The only matter to him is, that
the monopoly of natural inheritance, to which there never was a right,
begins to cease in his person. A generous man would not wish it to
continue, and a just man will rejoice to see it abolished.

My state of health prevents my making sufficient inquiries with respect
to the doctrine of probabilities, whereon to found calculations with
such degrees of certainty as they are capable of. What, therefore, I
offer on this head is more the result of observation and reflection
than of received information; but I believe it will be found to agree
sufficiently with fact.

In the first place, taking twenty-one years as the epoch of maturity,
all the property of a nation, real and personal, is always in the
possession of persons above that age. It is then necessary to know, as a
datum of calculation, the average of years which persons above that age
will live. I take this average to be about thirty years, for though
many persons will live forty, fifty, or sixty years after the age of
twenty-one years, others will die much sooner, and some in every year of
that time.

Taking, then, thirty years as the average of time, it will give, without
any material variation one way or other, the average of time in which
the whole property or capital of a nation, or a sum equal thereto, will
have passed through one entire revolution in descent, that is, will have
gone by deaths to new possessors; for though, in many instances, some
parts of this capital will remain forty, fifty, or sixty years in the
possession of one person, other parts will have revolved two or three
times before those thirty years expire, which will bring it to that
average; for were one half the capital of a nation to revolve twice in
thirty years, it would produce the same fund as if the whole revolved
once.

Taking, then, thirty years as the average of time in which the whole
capital of a nation, or a sum equal thereto, will revolve once, the
thirtieth part thereof will be the sum that will revolve every year,
that is, will go by deaths to new possessors; and this last sum being
thus known, and the ratio per cent, to be subtracted from it determined,
it will give the annual amount or income of the proposed fund, to be
applied as already mentioned.

In looking over the discourse of the English minister, Pitt, in his
opening of what is called in England the budget, (the scheme of finance
for the year 1796,) I find an estimate of the national capital of that
country. As this estimate of a national capital is prepared ready to my
hand, I take it as a datum to act upon. When a calculation is made upon
the known capital of any nation, combined with its population, it will
serve as a scale for any other nation, in proportion as its capital and
population be more or less. I am the more disposed to take this estimate
of Mr. Pitt, for the purpose of showing to that minister, upon his own
calculation, how much better money may be employed than in wasting it,
as he has done, on the wild project of setting up Bourbon kings. What,
in the name of heaven, are Bourbon kings to the people of England? It is
better that the people have bread.

Mr. Pitt states the national capital of England, real and personal,
to be one thousand three hundred millions sterling, which is about
one-fourth part of the national capital of France, including Belgia. The
event of the last harvest in each country proves that the soil of France
is more productive than that of England, and that it can better support
twenty-four or twenty-five millions of inhabitants than that of England
can seven or seven and a half millions.

The thirtieth part of this capital of 1,300,000,000L. is 43,333,333L.
which is the part that will revolve every year by deaths in that country
to new possessors; and the sum that will annually revolve in France
in the proportion of four to one, will be about one hundred and
seventy-three millions sterling. From this sum of 43,333,333L. annually
revolving, is to be subtracted the value of the natural inheritance
absorbed in it, which, perhaps, in fair justice, cannot be taken at
less, and ought not to be taken for more, than a tenth part.

It will always happen, that of the property thus revolving by deaths
every year a part will descend in a direct line to sons and daughters,
and the other part collaterally, and the proportion will be found to be
about three to one; that is, about thirty millions of the above sum will
descend to direct heirs, and the remaining sum of 13,333,333L. to more
distant relations, and in part to strangers.

Considering, then, that man is always related to society, that
relationship will become comparatively greater in proportion as the next
of kin is more distant, it is therefore consistent with civilization to
say that where there are no direct heirs society shall be heir to a part
over and above the tenth part due to society. If this additional part be
from five to ten or twelve per cent., in proportion as the next of kin
be nearer or more remote, so as to average with the escheats that may
fall, which ought always to go to society and not to the government
(an addition of ten per cent, more), the produce from the annual sum of
43,333,333L. will be:

[Illustration: table361]

Having thus arrived at the annual amount of the proposed fund, I come,
in the next place, to speak of the population proportioned to this fund,
and to compare it with the uses to which the fund is to be applied.

The population (I mean that of England) does not exceed seven millions
and a half, and the number of persons above the age of fifty will in
that case be about four hundred thousand. There would not, however, be
more than that number that would accept the proposed ten pounds sterling
per annum, though they would be entitled to it. I have no idea it would
be accepted by many persons who had a yearly income of two or three
hundred pounds sterling. But as we often see instances of rich people
falling into sudden poverty, even at the age of sixty, they would always
have the right of drawing all the arrears due to them. Four millions,
therefore, of the above annual sum of 5,666,6667L. will be required for
four hundred thousand aged persons, at ten pounds sterling each.

I come now to speak of the persons annually arriving at twenty-one years
of age. If all the persons who died were above the age of twenty-one
years, the number of persons annually arriving at that age, must be
equal to the annual number of deaths, to keep the population stationary.
But the greater part die under the age of twenty-one, and therefore the
number of persons annually arriving at twenty-one will be less than half
the number of deaths. The whole number of deaths upon a population of
seven millions and an half will be about 220,000 annually.



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