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Political economy   By:

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TRANSCRIBERS NOTE.

In this book all words and phrases surrounded by '' indicate they were bold in the original.

Science Primers.

POLITICAL

ECONOMY.

BY

W. STANLEY JEVONS, LL.D., M.A., F.R.S.,

PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL ECONOMY IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON; EXAMINER IN LOGIC AND MORAL PHILOSOPHY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.

NEW YORK: D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,

549 AND 551 BROADWAY.

1880.

CONTENTS.

CHAP. PAGE

I. INTRODUCTION, 7

II. UTILITY, 17

III. PRODUCTION OF WEALTH, 24

IV. DIVISION OF LABOUR, 32

V. CAPITAL, 42

VI. DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH, 48

VII. WAGES, 53

VIII. TRADES UNIONS, 61

IX. CO OPERATION, ETC., 77

X. THE TENURE OF LAND, 87

XI. EXCHANGE, 95

XII. MONEY, 103

XIII. CREDIT AND BANKING, 110

XIV. CREDIT CYCLES, 115

XV. THE FUNCTIONS OF GOVERNMENT, 123

XVI. TAXATION, 126

PREFACE.

In preparing this little treatise, I have tried to put the truths of Political Economy into a form suitable for elementary instruction. While connected with Owens College, it was my duty, as Cobden Lecturer on Political Economy, to instruct a class of pupil teachers, in order that they might afterwards introduce the teaching of this important subject into elementary schools. There can be no doubt that it is most desirable to disseminate knowledge of the truths of political economy through all classes of the population by any means which may be available. From ignorance of these truths arise many of the worst social evils disastrous strikes and lockouts, opposition to improvements, improvidence, destitution, misguided charity, and discouraging failure in many well intended measures. More than forty years ago Miss Martineau successfully popularised the truths of political economy in her admirable tales. About the same time, Archbishop Whately was much struck with the need of inculcating knowledge of these matters at an early age. With this view he prepared his "Easy Lessons on Money Matters," of which many editions have been printed. In early boyhood I learned my first ideas of political economy from a copy of these lessons, from the preface to which I quote these remarks of Whately: "The rudiments of sound knowledge concerning these (subjects) may, it has been found by experience, be communicated at a very early age.... Those, therefore, who are engaged in conducting, or in patronising or promoting education, should consider it a matter of no small moment to instil, betimes, just notions on subjects with which all must in after life be practically conversant, and in which no class of men, from the highest to the lowest, can, in such a country as this at least, be safely left in ignorance or in error." In later years like opinions have been held and efforts made by Mr. William Ellis, Professor W.B. Hodgson, Dr. John Watts, Mr. Templar, and others, and experience seems to confirm both the need and the practicability of the teaching advocated by Whately. But it is evident that one condition of success in such efforts is the possession of a small text book exactly suited to the purposes in view. Relying upon my experience of ten years in the instruction of pupil teachers at Manchester, I have now put my lessons into the simplest form which the nature of the subject seems to render advisable.

It is hoped that this little treatise may also serve as a stepping stone to a knowledge of the science among general readers of maturer age, who have hitherto neglected the study of political economy.

Owing to the narrow limits of the space at my disposal, it was impossible to treat the whole of the science in a satisfactory way... Continue reading book >>




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