On the Principles of Political Economy & Taxation (Works & Correspondence, Vol 1)

PDF EBook by David Ricardo

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How to say it? Ricardo is at once a brilliant thinker and a rather bad writer. On the Principles of Political Economy & download; Taxation (Works & Correspondence, Vol 1) PDF EBook It is true that he manages the occasional rhetorical flourish, as when he defines rent as returns to the "original and indestructible powers" of land. But alas, the price we pay for these occasional flashes of wit is high.

While Adam Smith, the man, had a tendency to get lost in thought and wander off into the wilderness, he somewhat restrained this propensity when he put pen to paper. But Ricardo has not the self- PDFcontrol. His major work's organizational scheme is infuriating. Most of the chapter about value is actually about profits and wages. Much of the chapter on rent is about value. Much of the chapter about wages is actually about rent. And in all this repetition, in discussions that are so abstract that they never alight upon empirical examples, there is nonetheless a great deal of contradiction! In Ricardo's initial definition of "rent", he explicitly excepts the coal or treasure sitting in mines from the category of "land", noting instead that these should be considered commodities (and their value deriving from the effort necessary to discover and remove them). But then twenty pages later we find him, in a chapter titled "On the Rent of Mines," seemingly having forgotten that same point, and treating the contents of mine as a kind of land. The ten (!) chapters on taxation contain both redundancy and self-contradiction. Indeed, Ricardo is always best when he quotes Smith or Say and then refutes their argument, because in using the words of others he clarifies his own exposition and is forced to precision.

Moreover, the work has an unmistakably polemical thrust. Scholars talk as though this book was a work of pure science, but in the actual text Ricardo's intent is unmistakable. His aim is to see both the Corn Laws and the Poor Laws repealed, and to win esteem for the merchant and the investor at the expense of the landowner. His definitions, and the conclusions he derives from them, betray this partisan engagement.

But for all that, Ricardo's intelligence is evident on nearly every page. The work is palpably the product of years of close thinking and rethinking about elusive and interconnected phenomena. Every chapter invites us to an exhausting intellectual exercise. It is understandable that Ricardo's work became not only influential, but influential in nearly every direction, because although one can use it as the basis for the conservative argument Ricardo intends, its implications point in other directions as well. Like this book? Read online this: Bankruptcy - 10 Mistakes to Avoid (Includes 10 Key Essentials to incorporate when filing your chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy) (Includes 10 Key Essentials to incorporate when filing your chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy) (Ultimate Bankruptcy ... Fili, Principles of Federal Income Taxation, The Concise Hornbook Series.

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