Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

PART 1.

PRODUCTION AND POPULATION.

THE WAGES QUESTION.

CHAPTER I.

WAGES A QUESTION IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH.

All the questions of Political Economy may, both conveniently and appropriately, be grouped under four titles, namely, the Production, the Distribution, the Exchange, and the Consumption of Wealth. All wealth has, of course, to be produced, in the first place; and, moreover, it is produced to be consumed, and for this end alone. Production and Consumption, therefore, are concerned with the entire sum of wealth.

All wealth, however, is not exchanged'; nor is all

1 Not only is not, but could not be. I say this to meet the suggestion that wealth, though actually not exchanged, is yet always subject to exchange in the sense that, if that particular form of wealth were to rise, or some possible substitute for it in use were to fall markedly in price, exchange would then take place, so that such wealth should still be regarded as within the domain of exchange. But the state of facts assumed is not real. No matter how much rice might advance, or other food decline in price, no human power could take all the crop out of India and bring back a food-substitute to the people, even were it Liebig's extract. The whole transportation system of India, reinforced by the revenues of the British Government, broke down under the effort, in 1873–4, to distribute to the people of certain districts of India an amount of rice equivalent to but a small portion of their usual crop. The railroads and water-courses of the United States could not take all the crops from the farms where they were raised.

« НазадПродовжити »