16 March, 2018

Witt and Richards on Belloc: Part 3

Continued from Part 2

In an exchange with Witt and Richards sort of on this topic (Pearce 1, W&R 1, Pearce 2, W&R 2), Joseph Pearce accused the pair of conflating Belloc’s views with socialism—an accusation they warmly denied.

05 March, 2018

Of Labour and Liberty

Race Matthews, Australian distributist and author of Jobs of Our Own, has published a new book titled Of Labour and Liberty.

Please spread the word about this book!
Here is a flyer you can download to post and share!

01 March, 2018

Witt and Richards on Belloc: Part 2

Continued from Part 1

Witt and Richards accuse Belloc of committing serious economic errors—errors also committed by Marx (horribile dictu).  The two central such errors are that both Marx and Belloc “failed to understand that free exchange benefits both parties,” and that “both held to what is called the labor theory of value, roughly the idea that something is worth economically just how much it cost to produce it.”  (Both passages from p. 160.) 

Belloc does not accept the labor theory of value.  This, at least, can be settled definitively.  In his explanation of the nature of economic wealth, Belloc considers the example of a farmer who owns a horse.  “…consider,” he says,
how the value [of the horse] changes while the horse remains the same.  On such and such a date any neighbor would have given the owner of the horse from 20 to 25 sacks of wheat for it, or, say, 10 sheep, or 50 loads of cut wood.  But suppose there comes a great mortality among horses, so that very few are left.  There is an eager desire to get hold of those that survive in order that the work may be done on the farms.  Then the neighbors will be willing to give the owner of the horse much more than 20 or 25 sacks of wheat for it.  They may offer as much as 50 sacks, or 20 sheep, or 100 loads of wood.  Yet the horse is exactly the same horse it was before.  The wealth of the master has increased.  His horse, as we say, is ‘worth more.’”  (Economics for Helen, p 33-4)