that its price is subject to the influence of competition; otherwise, it furnishes no parallel to capital. With these assumptions the opponent of interest eagerly seizes upon the analogy as entirely favorable to his own position and destructive of Mr. George's. If the skilful printer produced his skill and can sell it, and if other men can produce similar skill and sell it, the price that will be paid for it will be limited, under free competition, by the cost of production, and will bear no relation to the extra five hundred ems an hour. The case is precisely the same with capital. Where there is free competition in the manufacture and sale of spades, the price of a spade will be governed by the cost of its production, and not by the value of the extra potatoes which the spade will enable its purchaser to dig. Suppose, however, that the skilful printer enjoyed a monopoly of skill. In that case, its price would no longer be governed by the cost of production, but by its utility to the purchaser, and the monopolist would exact nearly the whole of the extra five hundred ems, receiving which hourly he would be able to live for the rest of his life without ever picking up a type. Such a monopoly as this is now enjoyed by the holders of capital in consequence of the currency monopoly, and this is the reason, and the only reason, why they are able to tax borrowers nearly up to the limit of the advantage which the latter derive from having the capital. In other words, increase which is purely the work of time bears a price only because of monopoly. Abolish the monopoly, then, and what becomes of Mr. George's "real interest" except as a benefit enjoyed by all consumers in proportion to their consumption? As far as the owner of the capital is concerned, it vanishes at once, and Mr. George's wonderful distinction with it.
He tells us, nevertheless, that the capitalist's share of the results of the increased power which capital gives the laborer is "not a deduction from the earnings of other men." Indeed! What are the normal earnings of other men? Evidently what they can produce with all the tools and advantages which they can procure in a free market without force or fraud. If, then, the capitalist, by abolishing the free market, compels other men to procure their tools and advantages of him on less favorable terms than they could get before, while it may be better for them to come to his terms than to go without the capital, does he not deduct from their earnings?
But let us hear Mr. George further in regard to the great value of time to the idler.
Suppose a natural spring free to all, and that Hodge carries a pail ofwater from it to a place where he can build a fire and boil the water.