The Advantages of Division of Labor

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1st, It gives increased dexterity. All common observation testifies how rapid and accurate our motions become, when confined to a single operation. The juggler is not more remarkable for the nice use of his muscles, than is an accomplished mechanic at his bench. The powers of his body are in perfect discipline. They have learned their parts, and obey instantaneously and harmoniously. The more simple the movement assigned, the greater will be the efficiency of performance. 2d, It allows the workman a better knowledge of his business. This is to the mental powers what the first is to the bodily. It gives intellectual dexterity. The man has a mastery of his special operation. He knows more about it than if he had two things to think of and care for. He becomes shrewd in every motion. He adapts his labor to the material; he discriminates between the qualities of that material. He meets the little difficulties of his work with more skill and less waste. These two advantages of the division of labor are shown in the different wages which skilled mechanics obtain as compared with unskilled, able seamen with landsmen. 3d, It saves time, in passing from one work to another. In the making of a chair after the primitive fashion we have supposed, a great deal of time will be spent in passing from one part of it to another, from the place of one operation to that of another. And, even where we suppose a laborer to be engaged in two operations only, there is still a loss inflicted, just as often as he has occasion to leave one for another. It is not a loss alone of the time physically necessary in effecting the transition, but each operation will leave something to harass the mind in the other. During the first part, the attention will be distracted by what has just been left. During the last part, the attention will run on, anticipating what is to come. The shadow is cast both ways upon the mind. 4th, It facilitates the invention of tools and machines. If a treasure of gold...
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