Man, Money, and Goods

By John S. Qambs; William Snyder | Go to book overview

4. VALUES AND PRICES

THIS CHAPTER INQUIRES into what standard theory has to say about the value of things we use up as consumers. The prices of things we buy to resell or the cost of labor or raw materials fall into a different class and will be discussed in the next chapter. The word "value" in economics is very close in meaning to the word "price." There are some differences: "price" must always be stated in terms of a national currency, but value is a general concept; money itself is subject to the forces of valuation, therefore cannot be used as the ultimate yardstick. For many purposes, however, economists tend to use the words interchangeably, and we shall distinguish between them only when the problem in hand demands the making of a difference.

Why does a fountain pen cost 50 times more than a plain penholder? Why do radios and beds cost about the same? The first modern answer given to such questions was that the value of things depended on the average amount of labor congealed in them. On this theory, beds and radios must require about the same number of days or hours to manufacture. Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Karl Marx

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Man, Money, and Goods
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface *
  • Contents *
  • Part One - Introductory *
  • 1 - Definitions First *
  • 2 - Rich World, Poor World *
  • Part Two - Standard Economic Theory *
  • 3 - Introduction to Standard Economic Theory *
  • 4 - Values and Prices *
  • 5 - The Price of Labor, Land, and Capital *
  • 6 - Recent Trends in Standard Theory *
  • 7 - Evaluation of Standard Theory *
  • Part Three - Dissenting Economic Theory 120
  • 8 - Introduction to Dissident Theory *
  • 9 - What Marx Meant *
  • 10 - Thorstein Veblen *
  • 11 - Evaluation of Dissident Theory *
  • Part Four - Special Problems 174
  • 12 - Boom and Bust *
  • 13 - Money *
  • 14 - The Banker's Job *
  • 15 - As Sure as Taxes *
  • 16 - American Dollars and World Goods *
  • Part Five - Conclusion *
  • 17 - What Next? *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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