Description of Industry: An Introduction to Economics

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H. Holt, 1918 - Economics - 270 pages
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Page 173 - There must be no conspiracies for absorbing and holding supplies to produce unnatural ratios of exchange. Were a conspiracy of farmers to withhold all corn from market, the consumers might be driven, by starvation, to pay prices bearing no proper relation to the existing supplies, and the ordinary conditions of the market would be thus overthrown.
Page 173 - It is also essential that the ratio of exchange between any two persons should be known to all the others. It is only so far as this community of knowledge extends that the market extends. Any persons who are not acquainted at the moment with the prevailing ratio of exchange, or whose stocks are not available for want of communication, must not be considered part of the market. Secret or unknown stocks of a commodity must also be considered beyond reach of a market so long as they remain secret and...
Page 156 - The actual price at which any commodity is commonly sold is called its market price. It may either be above, or below, or exactly the same with its natural price. The market price of every particular commodity is regulated by the proportion between the quantity which is actually brought to market, and the demand of those who are willing to pay the natural price of the commodity...
Page 17 - And such are the social phenomena in the midst of which we live and move. Habit has so familiarized us with these phenomena that we cease to observe them, unless something striking and exceptional forces them on our attention. Let us take, by way of illustration, a man in the humble walks of life — a village carpenter, for instance, — and observe the various services he renders to society, and receives from it ; we shall not fail to be struck with the enormous disproportion which is apparent.
Page 216 - ... sometimes as economic goods and sometimes as valuable utilities. It is these same commodities and services, goods or utilities, that are the objects of distribution. If the identical goods produced were directly and immediately divided among those who take part in their production, the matter would be comparatively simple. But such production " on shares " belongs to a primitive stage of industrial development.
Page 17 - ... work ? First of all, on getting up in the morning, he dresses himself ; and he has himself personally made none of the numerous articles of which his clothing consists. Now, in order to put at his disposal this clothing, simple as it is, an enormous amount of labour, industry, and locomotion, and many ingenious inventions, must have been employed.
Page 19 - ... others have rendered to him. If we bring the matter to a strict reckoning, we shall be convinced that he has received nothing which he has not paid for by means of his modest industry ; and that every one who, at whatever interval of time or space, has been employed in his service, has received, or will receive, his remuneration. The social mechanism, then, must be very ingenious and very powerful, since it leads to this singular result, that each man, even he whose lot is cast in the humblest...
Page 18 - ... must have been cut down, ground into flour, kneaded, and prepared ; iron, steel, wood, stone, must have been converted by industry into instruments of labour ; some men must have employed animal force, others water power, &c. ; all matters, of which each, taken singly, presupposes a mass of labour, whether we have regard to space or time, of incalculable amount. In the course of the day this man will have occasion to use sugar, oil, and various other materials and utensils. He sends his son to...
Page 18 - ... up the soil, filled up valleys, hewed down mountains, united the banks of rivers, and brought the power of steam into subjection to human wants. " It is impossible not to be struck with the measureless disproportion which exists between the enjoyments which this man derives from society, and what he...
Page 176 - It is a machine for doing quickly and commodiously, what would be done, though less quickly and commodiously, without it : and like many other kinds of machinery, it only exerts a distinct and independent influence of...

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