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sense may, sometimes, understand the facts more clearly and profoundly than the scientific writer, and in this case the common sense view, so called, will be better and truer than the written science, because more truly scientific.

If common sense is useful, it is useful through its clear perceptions of the facts and truths in question, and the more clear and complete this perception, the better and more useful the common sense. But it is folly to contend that the unwritten perceptions and judgments of the common sense are useful for the guidance of statesmen and business men, while the same judgments and perceptions, carefully classified and plainly written, are useless. If economic science and the plain common sense of experienced practical men do not agree, as far as they cover common ground, it is because one of them is false. the false one is not science, for all true science is true. We affirm that economic science, like meteorology or any of the incomplete sciences-like common sense-is useful as far as it is known and established. It has already modified and improved theories of government, and has changed the features of the social and industrial life of the world, To no other science can mankind look for future guidance in the great struggles for economic progress and amelioration.




24. The natural history of value. We approach now the science of value, or of the industries which produce value. It is the science of human want, work, and wealth. But these three every-where group themselves around a central fact, which may be symbolized by a triangle-the triangle of value.

The world is full of work. Every-where appear the toil and struggle of millions-toil of hands, of brains, and of helping machinery. This is the perpetual and most conspicuous fact in the daily life of humanity. Now for what is all this toil? Plainly to produce the objects which may satisfy human wants— objects which can support life, gratify desire, and give pleasure, or prevent or lessen pain.

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This toil has been abundantly successful. It has produced. more of these objects than are needed to satisfy the present wants of mankind. Gradually have accumulated great stores of such objects of foods, cloths, tools, machinery, houses, cultivated fields, domestic animals, and innumerable things of use or beauty.

But these great accumulations do not exist as a common stock. They belong to owners-to those who made, or bought, or inherited them. Why they so belong is a question for another chapter. The belonging is a fact; and only the owners have the right to use and enjoy them.

But now the toil and struggle still go on. Notwithstanding the accumulations, the toilers still labor to produce useful ob

jects, though it is with a partly changed purpose. They toil to produce something which they may exchange for some part of the accumulated goods.

This is the simplest history of those objects which men call goods, because they benefit or do us good; commodities, because commodious, or helpful to man's needs; products, because brought forth from antecedent wealth, or work; property, because they belong to owners; merchandise, because men sell them.

Thus, toil which started with the purpose of gratifying a desire, comes finally to seek, as one of its chief aims, the means of buying the goods already existing. Accumulation is a stronger motive than present gratification, for accumulation has the promise of all future gratifications in it.

25. Three requisites of value.-But what kinds of objects must men offer for the purchase of goods? First, something useful; for surely no sane man will give a good and useful thing for one that is neither good nor useful.

Second, it must be something which can not be produced or procured without labor or difficulty; for men will not give that which has cost labor for something which they can get without toil or trouble.

Thirdly, it must be something that can be owned or possessed; for one will not give that which he owns for a thing which he can neither own nor sell.

If any one of these qualities be lacking, the object will not sell. If all are present, the object is said to have value. Men desire it, and will give other goods for it. Such is the plainest and simplest account of value. Every child that runs an errand for a penny unconsciously recognizes value. It is in the thought of every day-laborer. It makes a part of every bargain, whether for a mouse-trap or a gold mine.

But value which is thus central in all trade and business, is also central in all that science which attempts to explain trade and business.

We seek first this central fact or entity--this triangle of value-whose three sides confront and unite the three great facts and factors of the industrial, business world. The key to our science must be found in that.

26. The sides of the triangle.- Value is made up of three essential notions or elements:





1. Utility, or the power to gratify desire to give pleasure or avoid pain.

2. Effort, or labor required in procuring or producing the article valued. 3. Ownership or appropriation.

These three constitute the sides of a triangle, in which each side is essential, and neither can be removed without destroying the triangle. All value is thus threefold or three-sided.

The discussion of this triangle will prove not only the essential character of the three elements of value, but also their central relation to the great facts of the industrial world.

The question whether value is a quality of objects, or a simple conception of the mind-a question so learnedly and so laboriously discussed by eminent economists-is of little practical importance. The simple truth, as the business world conceives and acts upon it, is this: Value is a complex fact made up of three elements, one of which, utility, is conceived as residing in objects, and the other two, effort and ownership, are thought of as material or external relations. These latter do not appeal to the senses as facts of form, color, or weight, and they are, therefore, necessarily mental concepts; but they are always conceived as attaching to matter.

The complex nature of value, once fairly recognized, will end much of the debate which has arisen from the attempt to define it as a simple notion or fact.

27. Utility described.-Utility, the first side of our tri

angle, is the first quality thought of in the production of values. It is generally, also, the first considered in trade. Of what use

is it? What is it good for? How much of good is there in it? These are the first questions asked or thought of in ascertaining both the fact of value and its amount. If the object lacks all power to satisfy, directly or indirectly, any human want, desire, or taste, its value is at once, and with certainty, denied. It may have cost immense labors, like the deserted fortifications of some old battle-field, but if it is now without use, if no one desires it for any purpose whatever, it is without value.

Utility must here be taken in its broadest sense. It includes not only the power to satisfy want, to give pleasure, to procure a good or ward off an evil, but to serve any purpose of man, society, or the state, in the present or coming time. Utility must often pass through several steps before it reaches a human desire. A fertilizer is useful to enrich a meadow; the meadow is useful to produce hay; hay is useful to feed horses; and horses are useful to do service, or to afford power for further production. From the fertilizer to the man are several steps; but it is the final step which makes all the others count. It is the human want or desire which lends value to them all.

Some economists have chosen to employ the word service as a broader term than that of use, and as including both the usefulness of goods and of persons. But this breaks down an important distinction, and twists the word service out of its plainest meaning.

Utility makes up so large a part of value that the two words are used in common speech as synonymous. Men talk of the value of fresh air, meaning simply its usefulness. But they are themselves conscious of the different sense in which they use the word when they speak of the value of a gold watch. Let them be asked what is the value of pure air, and they will tell what it is good for; but ask them the value of the watch, and they will reply, a hundred dollars. In the one case, value is used for utility, and in the other it means the real cost or

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