Daniel Raymond

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Daniel Raymond (1786–1849) was the first important political economist to appear in the United States. He authored Thoughts on Political Economy (1820) and The Elements of Political Economy (1823).

Economic theory[edit]

He theorized that "labor creates wealth," which may have been an improvement based on the thinking of Adam Smith of Europe. Daniel Raymond thought that the economy of England was actually the economy of the higher-ranking members of that society, and not the economy of the entire nation. He held that wealth is not an aggregation of exchange values, as Adam Smith had conceived it. Daniel Raymond held that wealth is the capacity or opportunity to acquire the necessaries and conveniences of life by labor.

Raymond systematized the infant industry argument.[1]

Political theory[edit]

In 1845, he wrote a book entitled 'The Elements of Constitutional Law' which included basic definitions of a government, a sovereign state, a confederacy and a constitution. While these concepts have evolved, much of the basic theories which he outlined still have relevance in modern political analysis.[2]

His writings affected political developments in the United States.[3]

Daniel Raymond Pro Protection Anti Laissez Faire[edit]

Daniel Raymond’s Elements on Political Economy represents himself as a protectionist. In book II chapter Nine, Of Protecting Duties, Raymond says that protectionism is aligned with national interests and the government should put national interests ahead of individual interests laissez faire,and the chief architect of laissez faire /free trade is Adam Smith. To Raymond national interests were never in harmony with individual interest. The protective tariff represented national interests, Raymond conveyed that the positive thing about having protective tariffs is that it allowed for the nation’s people a leverage, and special treatment granted to them over foreigners, in the fields of domestic commerce and industry of the nation.

This policy that looked after national interests was opposed by Adam Smith. Raymond in regards to the protective tariff said to always bear in mind that that national interests are monumental and that they trump individual interests. To Raymond defending national interests over individual interests was like military strategy, he stated the primordial perspective is that the army is one, and the general the commander; subordinates, troops are not allowed to have powers privileges, or concerns/pursuits that re in direct opposition to the general prosperity of the military unit. He then conveys that this principle is also in political economy no private interests or rights of some one may have authority over the general interest of the country, and if political economy does not acknowledge this principle she will forever stay in a dismal state.

In talking about National Interests, Raymond also expounded on his government philosophy. He stated that public good is above all forms of citizen, or society land ownership, and individual rights. Government can seize private land, lay and collect taxes only in the name of the general good. The government had the warranted right to take away land and use it for internal improvements/ infrastructure projects. In addition, government had the prerogative and absolute right to establish regulations in regards to property, or trade that benefitted the general good. Raymond is stating that the policy of protectionism is vehemently opposed to laissez faire. In book II chapter VIII Monopolies and Colonial Systems Raymond says “There is no hardship or injustice, in excluding foreign nations from a participation in our domestic trade, but there would be a very great hardship, as well as injustice, in excluding any portion of our own citizens from a participation in it.”

Raymond on unproductive labor[edit]

In Book I chapter XVII, Raymond speaks of the labor that laissez faire advocates like as not being worthwhile to civilization. Protectionists have an understanding of what is a useful pursuit and what is a blight. Raymond stated that a destructive occupation consisted of what was a detriment to civilization. He further stated that a pursuit fails to be pleasing to society if it has no ability to increase the standards of the requirements and conveniences of life, or to foster the joy and happiness of the society. Also, he said when poets, painters and musicians cease to produce innocent enjoyments they become uncongenial and unproductive. However the best example of an occupation that never suited society good too Raymond was the profession of the speculator and stock-jobber (stock broker). He said, “The object of those employed in these occupations, is not to produce any of the necessaries and comforts of life. Different persons may have other opinions of the moral character of these occupations, but all must agree that they are useless, and unproductive to the community.” Raymond then finishes the chapter by stating what is the duty of man and government. He says that it is mandatory that each man endeavor to foster the longevity of civilization, and that no man has the warranted right to be a mindless being, i.e., use his time in a repugnant manner or engage in uncongenial pursuit. As for government he says it is imperative and a paramount concern, to stifle all occupations that are grotesque and a blight to mankind, and to not facilitate them, as much as possible.



  1. ^ Chang, Ha-Joon. "Kicking Away the Ladder: How the Economic and Intellectual Histories of Capitalism Have Been Re-Written to Justify Neo-Liberal Capitalism". Post-Autistic Economics Review. 4 September 2002: Issue 15, Article 3. Retrieved on 8 October 2008.
  2. ^ Raymond, Daniel (1845-01-01). The Elements of Constitutional Law. J.A. James. 
  3. ^ Lee, Maurice S. (2005). Slavery, Philosophy, and American Literature, 1830-1860. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-84653-0. 
  4. ^ Elements of Political Economy Volumes I and II 1964