The Subject-Matter of Economics
DOI link for The Subject-Matter of Economics
The Subject-Matter of Economics book
The problems which concern the economist have their origin in man's struggle for the necessities, comforts, and conveniences of life. Productive capacity is conditioned by natural resources, and the industrial arts, together with the enterprise and knowledge which utilize them. The functioning of this productive capacity and the distribution of its yield among consumers constitute the subject-matter of economics. The distinction between productive capacity and current supplies is frequently exemplified in cases of recovery after loss. The commonest cases of loss or destruction are in connection with current supplies. The early American economists emphasized the former, while the majority of recent American economists emphasize the latter. In an autocracy economic interest would centre in theories of prosperity or in problems of production, while in a democracy the prevailing emphasis falls on the problem of distribution. Current supplies are perishable, therefore each season must yield its crop if society be spared from want.