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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Estimated Produce of Remaining Wealth-Producers

Estimated Produce of Remaining Wealth-Producers.

We have now examined what I may call the primary industries, those on which all others depend, and for which we have statistics to guide us; but we have by no means analysed all the production—we have still to account for that of page 7 the "industrial" producers, who are not working in factories, and for that of ordinary labourers. The only way to form any idea of the value of their produce is to adopt the system by which Baxter, Levi, and Giffeu have endeavoured to estimate the national income—that is to take the numbers and estimate annual wages and profits. This system is even less exact than the one we have hitherto pursued, so, though I shall attempt it, I will not use it for comparative purposes, nor shall I lay any stress upon the results. The produce of the building trade is estimated by taking average wages from the official returns, and deducting something over two months for time out of work, allowing interest and profits at 10 per cent, on £1,000,000, and assigning £150 each to employers, many of whom are no doubt in a very small way of business. This is checked by comparison with the number and size of houses built, and such an allowance as I could make for the probable value of repairs. The result would be too high if we only consider the condition of the building trade in Dunedin at the present time; but, remembering that we are dealing with the whole colony and the year 1886, 1 venture to submit it for criticism. The produce of the remainder of the industrial class is based on average wages, allowing £120 a head, and £100,000 for interest and profits. I have estimated the value of the produce of the class of general labourers at £100 a head, and have deducted half of them, because it is impossible to say how much of their labour may have gone to bring up the results of the industries for which the produce has already been estimated. The total, 20½ millions, gives us an idea of the wealth annually produced—the wealth, that is to say, out of which we pay the interest on our outside debts and support our nonproductive members.