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FRENCH WINE AND POLITICS - A Tale
     

FRENCH WINE AND POLITICS - A Tale

by Harriet Martineau
 
Proofed and corrected from the scanned original edition.

*****

Summary of Principles Illustrated in This Volume.


There are two kinds of Value: value in use, and value in exchange.

Articles of the greatest value in use may have none in exchange; as they may be enjoyed without labour; and it is labour which confers Exchangeable

Overview

Proofed and corrected from the scanned original edition.

*****

Summary of Principles Illustrated in This Volume.


There are two kinds of Value: value in use, and value in exchange.

Articles of the greatest value in use may have none in exchange; as they may be enjoyed without labour; and it is labour which confers Exchangeable Value.

This is not the less true for capital as well as labour being employed in production; for capital is hoarded labour.

When equal quantities of any two articles require an equal amount of labour to produce them, they exchange exactly against one another. If one requires more labour than the other, a smaller quantity of the one exchanges against a larger quantity of the other.

If it were otherwise, no one would bestow a larger quantity of labour for a less return; and the article requiring the most labour would cease to be produced.

Exchangeable value, therefore, naturally depends on cost of production.

Naturally, but not universally; for there are influences which cause temporary variations in exchangeable value.

These are, whatever circumstances affect demand and supply.

But these can act only temporarily; because the demand of any procurable article creates supply; and the factitious value conferred by scarcity soon has an end.

When this end has arrived, cost of production again determines exchangeable value.

Its doing so may, therefore, stand as a general rule.

Though labour, immediate and hoarded, is the regulator, it is not the measure of exchangeable value: for the sufficient reason, that labour itself is perpetually varying in quality and quantity, from there being no fixed proportion between immediate and hoarded labour.

Since labour, the primary regulator, cannot serve as a measure of exchangeable value, none of the products of labour can serve as such a measure.

There is, therefore, no measure of exchangeable value.

Such a measure is not needed; as a due regulation of the supply of labour, and the allowance of free scope to the principle of competition ensure sufficient stability of exchangeable value for all practical purposes.

In these requisites are included security of property, and freedom of exchange, to which political tranquillity and legislative impartiality are essential.

Price is the exponent of exchangeable value.

Natural or necessary price, — regulated by cost of production,—includes the wages of the labourer, and the profits of the capitalist.

Market price varies from natural price with variations of demand and supply, and in proportion to the oppressiveness of public burdens and commercial restrictions.

The more nearly and permanently market prices approach natural prices, the more prosperous is the state of commerce; and the two most essential requisites to this prosperity are social tranquillity and legislative impartiality.

***

An excerpt from the beginning of:

Chapter I

VINE-GROWING.


It was on a glorious afternoon in July, 1788, that an Englishman, named Steele, landed on the banks of the Garonne, a few miles south of Bordeaux, whence he had come up in a boat on an excursion of part business, part pleasure. Steele was settled as a factor at Bordeaux, and his business was to purchase wines from the growers, and ship them to his employers in England. His occupation had brought him acquainted with almost every vine-grower within fifty leagues of Bordeaux; and in the case of one of these, Antoine Luyon, the acquaintance had ripened into a friendship. Antoine was part owner of some vineyards on the western bank of the Garonne, one of which produced claret of a singularly, fine quality,—too good to command an advantageous sale at Paris, where second and third-rate wines are in nearly equal esteem with the first. The produce of this small and rich vineyard was therefore set apart for English sale, and had been bargained for by the house which Steele represented, and the terms agreed upon for the vintage of the five next seasons. Other vineyards belonging to the same parties touched upon this peculiarly favoured one; but not all the care and pains that could be taken availed to make their produce better than second or third rate. Their aspect was a little more to the east and less to the south; they were not so perfectly sheltered behind; and no art could temper their soil to the exact point of perfection enjoyed by La Haute Favorite, as this distinguished vineyard was called. Their produce was, however, as valuable as that of most of the estates around, and was in good esteem at Paris, where Antoine's partner, his brother Charles, was settled as a wine-merchant; and where he bestowed as much pains on the maturing of the stock in his cellars as Antoine did on its first ripening in...

Product Details

BN ID:
2940012370310
Publisher:
Leila's Books
Publication date:
03/26/2011
Series:
ILLUSTRATIONS OF POLITICAL ECONOMY , #12
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
773 KB

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