Vie de Benjamin Franklin, écrite par lui-même - Tome II suivie de ses œuvres morales, politiques et littéraires

By Benjamin Franklin

Page 124

en Europe, assurent les relations de l'Amérique avec les
autres pays; parce qu'elle fournira aux autres nations celles de ses
productions, qui leur conviendront, et que chacune en ayant, qui lui
sont particulières, les besoins et les avantages seront mutuels.

La seconde cause, que j'ai dit devoir coopérer à l'augmentation des
salaires en Europe est l'émigration, ou seulement la possibilité
d'émigrer vers l'Amérique, où le travail est mieux payé. Il est aisé de
concevoir que lorsque cette différence sera bien connue, elle attirera
dans les États-Unis beaucoup d'hommes qui, n'ayant d'autre moyen de
subsister que leur travail, accourront dans le lieu où ce travail sera
le mieux récompensé.

Depuis la dernière paix, les Irlandais n'ont cessé d'émigrer pour se
rendre en Amérique. La raison en est qu'en Irlande les salaires sont
bien moindres qu'en Angleterre, et que la dernière classe du peuple en
souffre beaucoup. L'Allemagne a aussi fourni de nouveaux citoyens aux
États-Unis; et tous ces hommes laborieux ont dû, en quittant l'Europe, y
faire hausser le prix du travail de ceux qui y sont restés.

J'ajoute que ce salutaire effet aura lieu, même sans émigration, et
résultera de la seule possibilité d'émigrer, au moins dans les états de
l'Europe, dont les habitans ne seront pas forcés à s'expatrier par
l'excès des impôts, les mauvaises loix et l'intolérance du gouvernement.

Oui, pour faire hausser les salaires, il suffit qu'il y en ait de plus
forts à gagner, dans un lieu où le salarié peut se transporter.

On a sagement remarqué dans les discussions élevées sur le commerce des
grains, que la seule liberté de les exporter, en soutenoit et fesoit
hausser le prix, sans même qu'on en exportât un seul boisseau. Il en est
de même pour les salaires. Les salariés européens ayant la facilité
d'aller gagner en Amérique des salaires plus forts, obligeront ceux qui
achètent leur travail de le leur payer un peu plus cher.

De là il s'ensuivra que ces deux causes du haussement de salaires,
l'émigration réelle et la simple possibilité d'émigrer, concourront à
produire le même effet. L'action de chacune étant d'abord peu
considérable, il y aura quelqu'émigration. Alors les salaires
hausseront, et l'homme laborieux voyant augmenter son gain, n'aura plus
de motif assez puissant pour émigrer.

Mais l'augmentation des salaires ne se fera pas sentir également chez
les diverses nations de l'Europe. Elle sera plus ou moins considérable
en raison de la facilité plus ou moins grande qu'on aura d'émigrer.
L'Angleterre, dont les moeurs, la langue, la religion sont les mêmes que
celles des Américains, doit naturellement participer à cet avantage plus
qu'aucun autre état de l'Europe. On peut dire qu'elle doit déjà

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