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.