Natural Law

John T. Tetley

[Reprinted from The Gargoyle, May 1976]

Of natural laws, the one most widely known is the law of gravity. Another is "matter in motion seeks the line of least resistance." As applied to man, we observe "man seeks to satisfy his desires with the least exertion."

Understanding this natural law may aid us in ascertaining the lower limits of sharing the product among the owners of the factors of production. The owners of human exertion, the owner of natural resources both wish to get as much as they can, as does the owner of tools. For the purpose of illustration, let us assume an area of farmland. We will assume that it is the best farm land available and with a given amount of exertion fifty bushels of wheat may be produced. On the next best grade of land, with the same exertion only 40 bushels can be produced, and on the next best land, only 30 bushels of wheat. Then 20, 10 and land on which no wheat can be grown.

Production also applies to a location used for retail business. At the poorest location, let us say but one pair of shoes per day can be sold. At the next better location, five pair, at the next ten, and so on until at the best location 25 pair a day -- all with the same amount of energy exerted.

.1 The differential -- the excess productivity over the least productive, is the basis of establishing the natural minimum share of the product which the owner of natural resources may demand.

When only the two factors of production, natural resources and human energy are involved it is evident that whatever portion of the product goes to the owner of natural resources, the balance goes to the owner of human energy. Or, to reverse, the situation, if the owner of natural resources wishes to have a person use and pay for such natural resources he must accept what the owner of human energy will pay, which will be determined by-what can be obtained working at the margin. The margin is the point of highest productivity without the payment for the use of natural resources.

This is the underlying basic. There must always be considered the demand for and supply of, natural resources, and human energy, At any given time and place. Other factors also enter into the final determination of the share of the product going to each of the owners, but it should be evident that there are underlying natural determinants.

Natural laws may not be violated with impunity. Ignore them and suffer the consequences. Comply with them, with harmonious results.

When tools and machines are used their owners either rent or sell them to the users. The users are the ones who exert human energy and they are willing to pay for the tools because by using them production is increased. The price which will be paid depends upon the supply of and demand for the tools and machines at a given time and place.

A portion of the product is claimed by the owner of natural resources, a portion by the exerter of energy, and as mentioned, a portion by owner of tools, if used. It is evident that if any one factor receives a larger share, one or both of the other factors must receive lesser shares.

Since the share owner of tools is governed solely by supply and demand and if because of high demand and low supply, supply will increase, thus tending to keep the "share" at a "fair" level, we may consider it, usually satisfactory to borrower and lender.

It is natural for the exerter of energy to want as much of the product as he can obtain, and if by working harder, or longer, he can obtain more this seems fair and reasonable, that he receive more.

Those who hold a legal title to Natural Resources endeavor to obtain as large a share of the product as they can for granting access to the resources. In many instances they are able to obtain a large share since it is absolutely necessary to have access to natural resources in order to produce. Also owners of Natural Resources are able to hold them out of production, thus increasing the portion of product which must be paid by those who do use Natural Resources.

It is possible to change the administration of allocation of Natural Resources to a system which would accord with natural law, prevent holding them out of use, and equalize opportunity in production.

This is quite a different concept than exists at present and while comparatively simple, does require quite some study to grasp its operation.

However, under such a system, the owners of human exertion would receive the full return for exertion, for they would use such resources as they could best pay for, with those using the less desirable resources, being reimbursed for surrendering their equal rights for the better.

BUT-- that is NOT THE WAY IT IS.