Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/324

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
308
INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

workmen you can find; whomsoever you employ, pay them equitably; if they damage you, insist that they shall make the damage good so far as possible; but do not dock their wages on the supposition that they may damage you.

(7) On the contrary, the employee, the one who does the work, is naturally and ethically the appraiser of work, and all that the employer has to say is whether he will pay the price or not. Into his answer enters the estimate of the value of the result. Under the present system he offers less than cost, and the employee is forced to accept. But Liberty and competition will create such an enormous market for labor that no workman will be forced by his incompetency to work for less than cost, as he will always be in a position to resort to some simpler work for which he is competent and can obtain adequate pay.

(8) The old excuse: to pay Paul I must rob Peter.

(9) No, not another; the same old fantasy, if it be a fantasy. The fact that Edgeworth supposes the exchange of labor for labor to be a different thing from the "cost limit of price" doctrine shows how little he understands it.

(10) Edgeworth admitted in his previous article that he could ask nothing more than that his field should be restored to him intact, and that anything his tenant might pay in addition should be regarded as purchase-money; now he not only wants his field restored intact, but insists on sharing in the results of his tenant's labor. I can follow in no such devious path as this.

(11) It would have made no difference to me had Edgeworth said "shared" instead of "profited." In that case I should simply have said that neither landlords nor tenants as such (where there is freedom of competition) share in the results of the extra fertility of soil due to preparatory labor, but that those results go to the consumers. And Edgeworth's reply would have been the same,—that my remarks were a "muddle of phrases." Such a reply admits of no discussion. Only our readers can judge of its justice. In saying that "farmers are not apt to be monomaniacs of bookkeeping," Edgeworth is probably not aware that he is calling Proudhon (with whom he so obstinately insists that he is in accord) hard names. The statement occurs over and over again in Proudhon's works that bookkeeping is the final arbiter in all economical discussion. He never tires of sounding its praises. And this great writer, whose "radical accord" with

Edgeworth "is not a matter of mere verbiage," was one of the