Productive Class Proprietary Class Sterile Class
(Farmer) (Landlords) (Manufacturers and Merchants)
Total gross product(5); exports1/2 its food and imports
Farmers’ food, seed, manufactured goods and fodder for next cycle(2)
Available for sale(3) rent from last period(2) Manufactured stock from last period(2) (1) (1)
Quesnay’s table traces flows of spending, and thus revenue received, by farmers, landlords, and manufacturers/merchants. Landlords use rent from the previous period to buy goods from the manufacturers/ merchants and food from the farmers, thus creating revenue for these two classes. The revenue to the farmers, in turn, enables them to purchase manufactured goods from the manufacturers/merchants. The manufacturers/merchants use that revenue to buy food form farmers, which creates revenue for farmers. Farmers apy rent out of their farm revenues, and the cycle repeats.
Quesnay assumed that the land is owned by landlords but is cultivated by tenant farmers, who are therefore the only really productive class. The product that the tenant farmers create has to satisfy not only their own needs but also the needs of the landowners(including the king, the church, the public servants, and others who depend on…