Basic Political Economy
John T. Tetley
[Originally published in The Gargoyle,
November-December 1976 under the title "For Lands Sake"]
If we accept the concept, the entire universe, excepting human beings
and the things made by human beings, are natural resources - we have
no difficulty in distinguishing land, oil, minerals, fish hatched of
themselves in the sea; man and an automobile. These are illustrations
and thing's made by man can be separated from those of nature.
The relationship of the operation of human exertion upon natural
resources in the making of material things might be considered "economics".
The study of economics, or perhaps we might say the basic or
fundamental principles of economics, might be narrowed to "the
principles of making material things by human beings."
It is evident that humans must have access to natural resources in
order to make things. Agreement among individuals is conceivable
whereby the process might take place, and in the interest of more and
better things for all, individuals would make those things which they
can best make, and exchange what they make with others who likewise
make what they can make best.
To crouch these concepts into the common economic terms, we could say
the factors of production are LAND --Natural Resources; LABOR -- human
energy; and some of this energy may be devoted to making tools and
machinery which enable easier and greater production, and for which
the economic term may be CAPITAL. The things man makes or produces we
may term WEALTH.
Strictly speaking, that may be all there is to "economics".
Simply the making and exchanging of material things. However, we may,
if we wish, go a step further and include SERVICES. However, we must
keep in mind that those who render services must have food, shelter
and clothing, and no doubt want other things, so basically there must
be production of material things.
Some "medium of exchange" would seem to be desirable and
could be provided by the "workers", but there conceivably
might be no need for any Government to interfere with the production
or servicing or exchanging. Limited government for other purposes
might be needed.
The use of location both for residence and production would be paid
for at full annual rental value and the severance value of natural
resources paid into a central fund. After deduction of cost of
administration, a portion of this fund might be used for necessary
government expenses and the balance distributed to citizens.