The Philosophy of Wealth: Economic Principles Newly Formulated

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Ginn, 1894 - Economics - 236 pages
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Page 37 - ... of another, and in which no one thing can exist without mutually conditioning and being conditioned by every other. That is, the adaptation found, or sought to be found, in concepts when contemplated in their logical aspect, is conceived to be an adaptation of things to one another in such a way that each is at the same time the means and the end of the existence of every other. Such a conception of the world of reality, in which things are united into an...
Page 109 - In the last quarter of a century we have witnessed the enormous growth of power in bodies of men, secured by the combinations of capital on the one hand, and of labor on the other.
Page 162 - What is ordinarily termed a good bargain is, morally, a bad bargain; it is unequal, and good for one party only. Whenever such a transaction takes place some one is plundered. It is the sufferer, in such cases, who usually regrets the occurrence; in an ideal society it would be the gainer who would mourn, however little probability there may be of such a thing in actual society. Sack-cloth and ashes are the proper covering of the man who has made a "good bargain.
Page 53 - To make a man a machine is to make him anything but productive. That such a result can never be realized in fact is self-evident; that it should ever be conceived of in thought is an evidence of how little trouble even the greatest writers on political economy have given themselves concerning the real nature of the being with whose actions they deal. If the laborer is an engine, his motive power is fuel; if he is a man, his motive power is hope. It is psychological rather than physiological forces...
Page 162 - What is the fact in the case ? Do persons who have made such bargains, even by questionable means, don the garments of humiliation, or do they show something of complacency ? Are they disposed to conceal their action, or to boast of it? Are they, in fact, treated with less honor by other men, or with more? The whole process is bad ; it is odious, and the worst feature of it is that it is characteristically American. The sharp bargaining spirit, which seeks...
Page 54 - Such theorising as that which we are criticising may apply to a clas^ of laborers who have already passed the barrier where hope is left behind; it will hardly apply to the laboring class in a free and progressive country. • The ultimate foundations of Political Economy lie deeper than the strata on which existing systems have been reared. The point of divergence between the present science, and the true science lies farther back than ordinary inquiries extend. The Economist of the future must...
Page 54 - ... Civilized man struggles no longer for existence, but for progressive comfort and enjoyment. It is progress that makes contentment possible, as distinguished from sullen submission to unavoidable hardship. Progress has limits, and many wants must remain forever unsatisfied, and, by a kindly provision, such wants are generally quiescent. Other wants near to the border line of actual possession must be active with a prospect of satisfaction by effort, if happiness is to be attained. It is the want...
Page 193 - ... absolutely eliminated. And this success has not been due to marked superiority in the leadership or in the average membership of these communities, but to the fact that cooperation in agriculture is comparatively easy. Professor JB Clark, in his notable volume "The Philosophy of Wealth" says: "Complete cooperation has succeeded on the largest scale in agriculture. The economic motive for this mode of living is less urgent in this department of industry than in others. Agriculture is not yet centralized,...
Page 148 - Individual competition, the great regulator of the former era, has, in important fields, practically disappeared. It ought to disappear; it was, in its latter days, incapable of working justice.

About the author (1894)

John Bates Clark was the first American to gain an international reputation as an economist. In 1885 he and two colleagues, Richard Ely and Henry Carter Adams, organized a group that became the American Economic Association. Clark served as its third president, and the organization now bestows one of its highest awards, the John Bates Clark Medal, in his honor. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Clark graduated from Amherst College and then studied economics at Heidelberg and Zurich universities. After his return to the United States, he married and took a position at Carleton College, where he befriended an unpopular but promising undergraduate named Thorstein Veblen. During his stay at Carleton, Clark contracted a severe illness that was to sap his strength for the rest of his life, forcing him to organize carefully all of his activities. Despite this handicap, Clark managed to produce an important series of works over the next few decades. In 1881 Clark moved to Smith College, where he published his first work, The Philosophy of Wealth (1885), a volume based on a series of articles on economic theory and contemporary business organizations originally published in The New Englander magazine. His second important work, Capital and Its Earnings (1888), advanced many propositions of modern capital theory, including the view that capital "transmutes" itself from one machine to another as old machines wear out during the production of newer ones. After a brief stint at Amherst, Clark went to Columbia University in 1895, where he taught until 1923. His third and most important book, The Distribution of Wealth (1899), is recognized as the first American economic work in pure theory. It is noted for its discussion of statics versus dynamics, economic terms introduced by Clark. Clark also published The Control of Trusts: An Argument in Favor of Curbing the Power of Monopoly by a Natural Method (1901), which argued for limited government intervention to restore competition. A revision, jointly published with and largely revised by his son, appeared in 1912 and offered a stronger case for antitrust policy. The 1912 edition (revised in 1914) was important because it conferred academic respectability on antitrust activity. In the final years of his life, Clark became involved in the peace movement.

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