Quote of the Day for August 17, 2017


229: From Newcomb: The ABC of Finance, Lessons I-VIII:

    We frequently hear of the oppression of labor by capital, and of antagonism between these two agencies. In order to judge how much foundation there is for this notion, let us inquire what capital really is. It seems as if a large portion of the labor party look upon it as some kind of instrumentality wielded by the rich for the purpose of injuring or oppressing the poor. Really, however, capital consists simply of the accumulated wealth of the past—houses, machinery, railroads, engines, mills, and everything which in any way produces the things that we want. It is one of the most important parts of the social machine described in my last lesson. I might say, indeed, that it is the whole material part of that machine. The ships which bring flannel shirts across the ocean for you to wear in winter; the factories in which those shirts were made; the railways which transport them to your city; the warehouses in which they are stored until you are ready to buy them; the roof which covers your head, and all the machinery designed for the transportation and preservation of the food you eat, are capital. To complain of these when one is suffering for the comforts of life is as if a naked and hungry man should complain that food and clothing were his enemies. Diminish or injure this capital, and the power of everybody, the laborer included, to get clothes to wear, food to eat, and shelter from the weather, will be diminished.

    II.1 (paragraph number)

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