The Working Principles of Political Economy in a New and Practical Form
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC
By: Silas Marcus Macvane
Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. THE USE OP MONEY AS A MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE. NATURE OF BUYING AND SELLING. 1. Money facilitates Exchange. It is only by considering the difficulties attending the use of barter that one can get clear views as to the true nature and use of money. The great and true service rendered by money is, that it makes the exchange of commodities easy. This it accomplishes in two ways. First, by breaking up the exchange into two parts or stages. It substitutes twq comparatively easy exchanges for one exceedingly difficult one. The man who wishes to exchange a carriage for a coat, a watch, and a barrel of flour, first sells the carriage for money, and then with the money buys the things he wants wherever he can buy them most favorably. This enables the work of exchanging things to go on without the help of a great central exchange. Secondly, money makes exchange easy by making it possible to have a price for everything. Instead of cumbersome lists, showing how much of every other article a thing is worth, we need only to say how much money it is worth. Money serves as a standard of value. 26 2. Exchange is obscured by the Use of Money. In these two ways the use of .money renders the work of exchanging commodities comparatively easy and expeditious. But it greatly increases the difficulty of studying political economy. The use of money gives rise to most of the wrong ideas against which political economy has to contend. Exchange of commodities is very much disguised by it, so much so, in fact, that many men who do a great deal of exchanging never once think of it as exchanging at all. They think of selling as a thing by itself, and of buying as a thing by itself, not waiting to consider that these are in reality the separated halves of an exchange. Two cir...