Quote of the Day for November 26, 2015

330: From Marshall: Principles of Economics, Appendix K:

    To state from the point of view of this chapter a doctrine which has been discussed at length in V. VIII.—XI.:—All appliances of production, whether machinery, or factories with the land on which they are built, or farms, are alike in yielding large surpluses over the prime costs of particular acts of production to a man who owns and works them: also in yielding him normally no special surplus in the long run above what is required to remunerate him for his trouble and sacrifice and outlay in purchasing and working them (no special surplus, as contrasted with his general worker\'s and waiter\'s surplus). But there is this difference between land and other agents of production, that from a social point of view land yields a permanent surplus, while perishable things made by man do not. The more nearly it is true that the earnings of any agent of production are required to keep up the supply of it, the more closely will its supply so vary that the share which it is able to draw from the national dividend conforms to the cost of maintaining the supply: and in an old country land stands in an exceptional position, because its earnings are not affected by this cause. The difference between land and other durable agents is however mainly one of degree: and a great part of the interest of the study of the rent of land arises from the illustrations which it affords of a great principle that permeates every part of economics.

    App.K.8 (paragraph number)

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