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GINN AND COMPANY
BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO LONDON
ATLANTA DALLAS COLUMBUS . SAN FRANCISCO

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HRiil

15
C í a

ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

621.9

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MAIN LIBRARY-AGRICULTURE DEPT.

The Athenæum Press
GINN AND COMPANY. PRO.
PRIETORS · BOSTON- U.S.A.

INTRODUCTION

This book is frankly written from the national point of view. Someone has suggested that much futile discussion would be prevented if everyone were required to point at the thing of which he was talking. It would be a wise rule if no one would ever speak or write about "society," or "the community” in general, but only of such groups as can be named and located. The United States of America is such a group. So also are England, France, Canada, and a number of others. These and similar groups are the largest that are capable of carrying through definite economic policies.

Not only is this book written from the national point of view; it is frankly a theory of national prosperity. In this respect the author has the illustrious example of the great Adam Smith, whose work was entitled "An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.” Prosperity is assumed to be desirable and worthy of the highest efforts of the scholar in economics as well as the statesman. It is believed to require not only an ample production but also a fair distribution of the products among all classes, to the end that all may share in the national prosperity.

The writer may be accused of bringing purely ethical considerations into an economic discussion. He has no desire to repudiate the charge, certainly not on the ground that ethical considerations are unworthy of an economist. The charge, however, does not happen to be correct, unless a preference for national prosperity as against national poverty can justly be called an ethical preference. The author pleads guilty to this preference, and the book is written as an expression of it. Having this preference, the author frankly argues for those

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habits, policies, and institutions which are most likely to contribute to national prosperity. Assuming that others have the same preference, the language used may sometimes be that of a propagandist, and the reader may even be exhorted to behave in such ways, or to support such policies and institutions as will contribute to the end which all are assumed to desire. These exhortations, however, are based wholly on reasoning as to the probable effect on national prosperity of the habits, policies, and institutions under discussion, and never on sentimental views of morality.

Let it be understood, therefore, that this book is written for those who are interested in the problem of national prosperity and who believe that this should be the aim of all good citizenship. It is also written for those who are not too squeamish to consider moral questions whenever they can be shown to have a definite connection with the central problem of national prosperity. Finally it is written for the studiously inclined and not for those who merely wish to find support for their prejudices.

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