Economic Development of the United States

By Isaac Lippincott | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II CONDITIONS OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The essential conditions for economic development are found in (a) man himself, in (b) the institutions he creates, and in (c) the resources of the regions he inhabits.

9. Man as a Factor .--Man enters as a factor into economic development in two ways, first as a producer, and second as a consumer. The character of economic development in a country is largely determined by the conduct of men in these respects. Physical strength, endurance, ability to resist disease, or to devise means for their prevention, nervous energy, versatility, thrift and enterprise, all play an important part in constituting the right kind of a man to develop a country. The history of economic growth in the United States has been a long record of success through the application of these qualities. On the side of consumption, equally important traits have characterized our people. Unless men were willing consumers there would be little incentive for production, except of the bare necessities of life. The desire for goods is probably one of the strongest forces encouraging production. It encourages managers of enterprises to be on a keen outlook for commodities that consumers are likely to want, and it stimulates the workers to labor to obtain the wherewithal to make the purchase. As a rule, in order to demand we must supply; to consume, we must produce. Among a people like our, own, who are ambitious to raise the standard of living, who pride themselves on decent, comfortable living, and who respond readily to appeals to their likings for these things, desire stimulates work.

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