CHAPTER III
THE MEASURING ROD AND THE GLUT THEORY
ONE of the manifold results of the "Keynesian revolution" is a revaluation of the history of economic thought. It has been suggested that economic theory might have been better served if the Ricardians had not triumphed so completely, as they did, over Malthus in the famous Glut controversy (cf. Keynes, Essays in Biography, pp. 139-47; General Theory, pp. 362-4). This newly found enthusiasm is, however, not without its dangers. It frequently leads to an attempt to draw a sharp contrast between the Malthus and the Ricardo stem of thought, almost to the exclusion of the fact that both stems of thought have grown out of the common parent trunk of Smith Wealth of Nations.In this chapter we hope to show that the Glut controversy instead of being a disturbance caused by an alien element outside the main stream of classical thought is in fact closely related to the question of the correct measure of value; and that the process of thought which led Malthus to the Glut theory cannot be fully appreciated without reference to the "labour-commanded" measure of value which he took over from Smith. It is true that Malthus introduced many changes into Smith's measure of value and these will be considered in detail. But he retained enough of Smith's essential premises to justify saying that the continuity of thought had not been broken.
I
The changes which Malthus introduced into the "quantity of labour commanded" measure of value when he took it over from Smith may be grouped under three heads:
i. Smith had not made any special effort to tighten the relation between his measure of value and his normal cost of production theory of price. He had been content to state merely that although in a developed economy the price of a commodity would be made up of normal wages, rent and profit, labour could measure not only that part of price paid out as wages, but also those parts of price paid out as rent and profit ( Smith, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 52). Malthus, on the other hand, seems to give special twists to his theory of value to fit it in with the "labour-commanded" measure of value.

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