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INCOME IN GENERAL.
RECEIPTS. - INCOME. – PRODUCE.
The idea covered by the word receipts (Einnahme) embraces all the new additions successively made to one's resources within a given period of time. Income, on the other hand, embraces only such receipts as are the results of economic activity. (See SS 2, 11.) Produce (Ertrag, produit) is income, but not from the point of view of the person or subject engaged in a business of any kind, but from that of the business itself, or of the object with which the business is concerned, and on which it, so to speak, acts.
Income is made up of products, the results of labor and of the employment and use of resources. These products, the producer may either consume himself or exchange against other products, to satisfy a more urgent want. Hence, spite
Including of course, gifts, inheritances, lottery prizes etc. ? Thus the original income of the peasant consists in his corn, of the mil. ler in his flour, of the baker in his bread, of the shoemaker in his shots. The money which circulates among all these and the purchaser, is only the means of exchanging that part of their products which they cannot themselves use, for other goods. Money, on the other hand, was the original income of the producers of the gold or silver it contains. Compare Mira. beau, Philosophie rurale, 1763, ch. 3. Adam Smith, II, ch. 2. But especially,
...Qf. the frequency with which we hear such expressions as
these: “the laborer..eats the bread of his employer;” “ the :: : 'capotahist lives by the sweat of the brow of labor;" or, again,
a manufacturer or business man “lives from the income of his customers,"3 they are entirely unwarranted. No man who manages his own affairs well, or those of a household, lives on the capital or income of another man; but every one lives on his own income, by the things he has himself produced; although with every further development of the division of labor, it becomes rarer that any one puts the finishing stroke to his own products, and can satisfy himself by their immediate consumption alone. Hence we should call nothing diverted or derived income except that which has been gratuitously obtained from another.'
INCOME – GROSS, FREE. AND NÉT. In all income, we may distinguish a gross amount, a net amount and a free amount.' The gross income of a year, for see 7. B. Say, Traité II, ch. 1, 5; and Sismondi, N. P., I, 90, 376, in which it is correctly said, that the quality which constitutes anything capital or income does not inhere in the thing itself, but depends on the person. Com. pare, however, I, 149; Hermann, Staatsw. Untersuch. 297 ff., 33 seq.
3 A fundamental thought in St. Chamans, Du Système d'Impôt, 1820. Nouvel Essai sur la Richesse des Nations, 1824.
4 Thus, for instance, the support given by the head of a family to the members thereof; also gifts, alms, thefts. Even A. L. Schlözer, St. A., II, 487, will allow that no one “eats the bread of another," but the person who has received it from the latter by way of favor and for nothing. In the case of a rented house, there is only an exchange of objects of income. The person to whom it is rented gives up a portion of his, and the renting party the use of his house. Similarly, in the case of personal services. Writers who maintain that only certain kinds of useful labor are productive, must of course extend the limits of diverted income much farther. See Lotz, Handbuch, III, $ 133; Rau, Lehrbuch, I, SS 248, 251. Cantillon thinks that if no landowner spent more than his income, it would be scarcely possible for any one else to grow rich. (Nature du Commerce, 75.) According to Stein, Lehrbuch, 347, every one gets his income from the income of other people!
Similarly in Sismondi, N. P., II, 330, and Rau, Lehrbuch, I, S 71, a.
instance, consists of all the goods which have been newly produced within that time. The net income is that portion of the former which remains after deducting the cost of production (S 106), and which may therefore be consumed without diminishing the original resources. Only the new values incorporated in the new commodities make up the net income. Evidently, a great portion of what is considered in one business the cost of production is net income in a great many others; as for instance,what the person engaged in one enterprise in production has paid out in wages and interest on capital. By means of this outlay, a portion of his circulating capital is drawn by others as income, and, on the other hand, a portion of their original income is turned into a portion of his circulating capital. Free income, I call that portion of net income which remains available to the producer after his indispensable wants have been satisfied.
An accurate kind of book-keeping which keeps these three elements of income separate is more generally praticable as civilization advances. We might call it the economic balance. Where commerce is very thriving it is even customary to provide by law that those classes who need it especially should have this species of book-keeping. People in a lower stage of cultivation, with their poetical nature, are unfriendly to such calculations.45 And where natural-economy (Natur
* Called by Hermann, loc. cit., simply income.
3 This truth 7. B. Say has exaggerated to the extent of claiming that gross and net income are one and the same so far as entire nations are concerned. (Traité, II, ch. 5; Cours pratique, III, 14; IV, 74.) But the gross profit of the entire production of any one year is much greater than the simultaneous net income of all the individuals engaged in it. This is accounted for by the fact that in such production an amount of circulating capital is invested which was saved from the net profit of previous economic times. Compare Storch, Nationaleinkommen, 90 ff. Kermann, loc. cit., 323 ff.
* In the East, a valuation by one's self of his property is considered a guilty kind of pride, usually punished by the loss of one's possessions. (Burckhardt, Travels in Arabia, I, 72 ff.) See Samuel, 24, on the census made by David. The Egyptians, however, as may be inferred from their monuments, must have very early and very extensively felt the want of some kind of
alwirthschaft) or barter prevails, a book-keeping of this kind of any accuracy is scarcely practicable. The ratio which net income bears to gross income is a very important element to enable us to judge of the advantageousness of any method of production. If every producer should succeed in consequence of keeping his books in this manner, in determining exactly the cost to him of each of his products, this would be an eco
book-keeping such as we have mentioned. A very accurate sort of bookkeeping among the more higly cultured Romans, with a daily memorandum and a monthly book with entries from the former (adversaria-tabula expensi et accepti). Compare Cicero, pro Roscio, com. 2, 3; pro Cluent, 30; Verr., II, 1, 23, 36. The Latin putare, from putus, pure, means: to make an account clear, and therefore corresponds to the American provincialism, “I reckon," i. e., I believe; and is a remarkable proof of a rigid method of keeping accounts. The Italian, or so-called double-entry method of bookkeeping, which gives the most accurate information on the profit from every separate branch of business, became usual among the nations of modern Europe whose civilization was the first to ripen, about the end of the fifteenth century. Its invention is ascribed to the monk Luca Paciolo di Borgo S. Sepolcro.
In England, this kind of book-keeping is very gradually coming into use even among farmers, while Simond, Voyage en Angleterre, 2 ed., II, 64, Dunoyer, Liberté du Travail, VIII, 5, say, "it would in France be considered as ridiculous as the book-keeping of an apple vendor.” In Germany, there have been for some time past, manufactories of commercial books. Besides, the remarkable difference brought out by the income tax in England between the exact statements made by large manufacturers etc., and by those engaged in industry on a medium or small scale, bears evidence of the better way in which the former keep their accounts, the cause and effect of their better business in general. Compare Knies, in the Tübing. Zeitschr., 1854, 513. On the best mode of determining income, see Cazaux, Eléments d' Économie publique et privée, Livre, II. It is especially necessary to keep an account of the increase or diminution, even when accidental, of the value of the fixed capital employed.
5 The Code de Commerce, I, art. 8, requires that every merchant should keep a journal, paged and approved by the authorities, showing the receipts and disbursements of each day, on whatever account, and also the monthly expenditures of his family. Besides, he is required to make a yearly inventory of his debits and credits, subscribe to it and preserve it. That such books were excellent judicial evidence may be shown by Italian statutes of the fourteenth century. (Martens, Ursprung des Wechschrechts, 23.) Those of Germany even in 1449. (Hirsch, Danziger Handelsgeschichte, 232.)
nomic progress similar to that of general spread of good chemical knowledge in the arts. On the amount of free income, on the other hand, depends all the higher enjoyment of life, all rational beneficence, and the progressive enrichment of mankind.
NATIONAL INCOME. — ITS STATISTICAL IMPORTANCE.
Among the most important' but also the most difficult objects of statistics, that book-keeping of nations, is national income. In estimating it, we may take our starting point from the goods which are elements of income, or from the persons who receive them as income.?
In the former case the gross national income consists:
B. Of imports from foreign countries, including that which is secured by piracy, as war-booty, contributions etc.
C. The increase of values which industry and commerce
6 Importance of the so-called “ transferring to credit," where a business man considers his business as an independent entity and as distinct from himself.
Not only to compare the happiness and power of different nations with one another, but also for purposes of taxation, the profitableness and innocousness of which suppose the most perfect adaptation to the income of the whole people.
• The former, in Rau, Lehrbuch, I, § 247; the latter in Hermann, 308 ff. The former mode of calculation gives us a means of judging of the comfort of the people, their control of natural forces etc.; the second, of the relation of classes among the people. (v. Mangoldt, Grundriss, 99. V. W. L., 316 ff.) Each member of the nation produces his income only in the whole of the nation's economy. Hence Held, Die Einkommensteuer, 1872, 70, 77, would, but indeed only under very abstract fictions, construct private income from the national, and not vice versa.
3 On the average degree of this increase of values in different industries, see Chaptal, De l’Industrie française, II, passim. Bolz, Gewerbekalender für, 1833, 111. No such scale can be lastingly valid, because, for instance, almost all technic progress decreases the appreciation of values through in. dustry, and every advance made by luxury raises the claims to refined qual ity etc. See Hildebrand, Jahrbücher für Nat-CEk., 1863, 248 ff.