Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cantillon's Essay

A new translation, by the Mises Institute. You might enjoy seeing page one:

I took a screenshot of the pdf. It looks like I chopped off the bottom, but that's all the info on the page, except for the page number.


The probligo said...

With a very quick scan of the rest (look on the net there are about three translations available) I would describe his economic as "feudal".

I don't think it is what you might want today.

Al said...

There have been advances since Cantillon's day. At least he wasn't responsible for the Labor Theory of Value. That was Smith's f***-up.

Here's something more modern:

The probligo said...

It is so easy to generalise - even with something as brief and concise as Cantillon's summary economique.

As I read him, Cantillon proposes as "value" a mix of capital, of which the only real existing kind was land, and labour.

The measure of the value of labour he splits between the quantity of land required to maintain a labourer and the price a landowner is prepared to pay for an item of clothing or the services of smith or wright.

To try and put his view of economic into a modern context I think is futile exactly because "there have been advances since Cantillon's day". His fundamental premise that "capital" (in his day comprising only land) aggregates in the hands of a few would make a good moot for a serious debate. The downside is that "capital" now comes in so many different forms that the simplicity of Cantillon's premise no longer exists.

I am sure that I will find that debate already exists, and has been exhausted, on the net.