Изображения страниц

house or farm, theatre, banker's office, or hotel, the rents charged may be split up into two parts. Of these, one, called Building Rent, enters into and forms a part of the cost of all goods and services that shopkeepers, farmers, manufacturers, bankers, and other caterers supply; and one, called Site Rent (or“ true Economic Rent”)-appearing only in certain situations, and not everywhere-is a consequence and not a cause of changes in the value of the output of goods and services supplied. So, if the State taxes all site rents, even to 100 per cent., our goods would not cost us a penny the more. Nor, if existing tenants were forbidden to pay site rents, would they be foolish enough to charge us a penny the less, being themselves now their own ground landlords, and receiving two incomes—one of rent, paid by themselves to themselves, and one as business managers, which they had already endeavoured to make as large as possible by charging what they considered the most profitable prices for their goods or services. 1

In the case of farming land and garden land, no doubt, it is the fertility of the soil that in nearly all cases counts for more than mere situation; though the most fertile soil in the wilds of Siberia is likely to yield less rent than the most barren acres in Essex or Kent. But situation and fertility are close akin. We may, without outrageous use of metaphor, speak of the wheat sown in fertile

1“ Not one penny the less is the phrase used above ; but the words on the average

should be appended. For such a confiscatory redistribution of spending power would increase the demand for some goods and decrease the demand for others, with irregular and incalculable results, some goods costing us a trifle more than previously, while others would be a little cheapened.


land as being nearer the market than that sown among thorns and thistles (fewer of the grains being lost on their way through being taken as payment for the services of carriers, etc., on their journey from underground to the flour-mills). Or, in talking of shops, we can speak of the greater fertility of shops in the Central Area as compared with the scanty crops of sales that can be grown on shopcounters in the Outer Circle. Here endeth

treatment of Rent. The chapter is made shorter than the other chaptersbecause the writer knows, from sore experience, that not many will accept its teaching without demur. The Theorem of Rent is, in fact, almost as difficult for Economists to prove, to the satisfaction of all but the professional student, as the dictum of those foolhardy geometricians who assert that a square drawn on the long side of a square-cornered triangle must be always exactly the same size as the squares on the other two sides added together, (“How can they possibly know? They haven't measured them all. Besides they couldn't; for there often isn't room to draw any square there at all.") The author prefers, if so he may, to retain the confidence of his readers by writing little on a subject on which he knows that every busy man on the 'bus knows that he knows far more than all the foolish Academic Economists who sleep their lazy lives away upon the shadowed banks of Cam and Cher.



Folk say, a wizard to a northern king
At Christmastide such wondrous things did show,
That through one window men beheld the spring,
And through another saw the summer glow,
And through a third the fruited vines arow,
While still, unheard, but in its wonted way,
Piped the drear wind of that December day.

So with this Earthly Paradise it is,
If ye will read aright, and pardon me,
Who strive to build a shadowy isle of bliss
Midmost the beating of the steely sea,
Where tossed about all hearts of men must be ;
Whose ravening monsters mighty men shall slay,
Not the poor singer of an empty day.


In the Game of Life the State is the patron, the rule-maker, the stake-holder, the supervisor of the ambulance department, and the referee.

The State performs all these functions simultaneously; with the consequence that spectators in the grand-stand, even if they keep very wideawake indeed, find the game at times rather bewildering to follow.

First of all let us glance at the functions of the State as trainer of the new recruits at the game.

In those far-off shadowy days, when the world was very much more juvenile and not yet accustomed to having everything done for it, grown-up fashion, by machinery, practically every novice at the game had to pick up the tricks of his trade in one and the same way. He was assigned to an individual trainer, by a procedure called apprenticeship”; and in his new master's house he passed some seven years of hobbledyhoyhood, receiving board and lodging, instruction in his chosen “craft, and such parental control and supervision in the ordinary business of life as his adopted father might think desirable. The custom of India is still very largely the same as this, but with the added restriction that the novice can only choose his father's occupation or that of some allied occupation practised by the members of a more or less extensive religious family called the “Caste"

-a principle that must lead to disastrous results when there is a falling off in the demand for the kinds of services rendered by the members of the Caste, especially as the Caste is often the only mutual-insurance and poor-relief institution on which the Indian depends in periods of distress.

The apprentice was expected in the course of his seven years' service to learn the whole of an ordinary craft-leather-working, iron-working, or whatever it might be. Towards the end of his seven years he would perhaps receive some small weekly payment for his work, much as boys receive pocket-money from their parents. When his apprenticeship was finished he would become a

journeyman working for wages; and later perhaps become a master-craftsman” having journeymen and apprentices working under him. Such was the artisan's career in the old-fashioned world.

But when the greater part of the world's manufacturing products ceased to be simple manu-facta (hand-made goods) but came instead to be turned out with the help of machinery in great mills and factories, much of this earlier custom died away. No longer does the ordinary youth set out, like Alfred the Great, to take all knowledge as his Province."

No longer does he wish to master the whole of his trade. Instead, he goes into a factory where he is at once set to perform some necessary task, so simple that he can master it in a few days or even hours; and thus he becomes at once a wage-earner. The old-fashioned apprentice was a learner, who did not earn; the boy in a modern factory is an earner, who is seldom wise enough, even when he has the opportunity, to look about him and learn, while he is earning. Even in the trades—such as tailoring and cabinetmaking—which are still carried on in the more oldfashioned way with relatively little machinery, and where it is still common for the captains of industry to rise by easy stages from the ranks of the apprenticed learners, it is not very usual, except perhaps in small country towns, for the workers to learn more than one or two parts of the trade. (It is frequently noted in London workshops that the foremen are all from the provinces.) Only in those occupations where rather more skill than the average is required, such as engineering and optical instrument making, do we still find boys commonly beginning as apprentices; paying a

paying a “premium,” often, for the instruction they are supposed to receive and to cover the cost of the material they damage in learning; instead of commencing at once to earn; and it is no longer the custom in such cases for the apprentice to live like an adopted son in his master's house.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »