Getting and spending; an introduction to economics - Lettice Fisher - PDF ebook

Getting and spending; an introduction to economics

Lettice Fisher
Lettice Fisher 
 


From introduction:
Mrs Fisher has written a book on elementary Economics which those who come to it with open minds and with a willingness to think over what she says will find both interesting and enlightening. To have produced so animated and yet so judicious a little volume is something of achievement: it could be accompHshed only by one who has learnt as a teacher to enter into the minds of others and who possesses the gift of lucid expression.


The writer of this book stands in the line of spiritual succession to the creators of English Political Economy — Adam Smith and Ricardo and John Stuart Mill. Her readers will observe with what respect she refers to these masters; and, if they should continue their economic studies, they will find that the fundamental assumptions of the founders of systematic economic teaching are hers also. I must confess that there have been very many earlier books, which essayed the same task in a similar spirit, which I should have hesitated to commend. 

English Political Economy, when it first presented itself to the world as an ordered body of thought, combined, with much that was true and of permanent value, much that was so one-sided as to be misleading and no little that was simply erroneous. 

Applied, with the best intentions but with an imperfect understanding of human nature, as an adequate explanation and even, in a sense, as the justification, of the grave social evils of the time it deservedly aroused the fierce antagonism of many of the more intelligent of the working people; and it may be doubted whether, for half a century, it did not do more harm than good. But since Mill's time there has been much fresh thinking among economists and wider horizons have opened to them; and in this treatise of Mrs Fisher, it is the more permanently valuable parts of the old teaching which survive, qualified and safeguarded by many of the results of later observation. 

The author has strong and definite opinions, but the temper of her book is generous and fair-minded. She will be very well satisfied, I am sure if her book sets her readers thinking and makes them realise the strength of the forces she shows to be at work, even if they do not on all points reach the same final conclusions. 
There may be legitimate divergences of opinion as to the relative magnitude of conflicting consider- ations. But, in the main, the considerations which Mrs Fisher sets forth — and sets forth with so much spirit — are such as all economists agree to be important; and the general line of reasoning and exposition which she follows with so firm a tread will be found, by most people, the most convenient path of approach to any further examination of the insistent problems of industrial society.

Some contents:
How wealth comes into being : (i) Nature's forces; (2) Man's work — Causes of the efficiency of man's work: his body, his mind, his character, the laws under which he lives. (3) The planning and arrangement of work, a combination of workers, division of labour 28 Capital: what is it, how does it come into existence, and what does it do? — The destruction of capital: by war, by Nature's forces — Capital must be consumed, that is, used — Saving and hoarding — The effect of spending upon capital — Spending does not make work but does decide what kind of work shall be done 45

  • Author:  Lettice Fisher was the founder of the National Council for the Unmarried Mother and her Child, now known as Gingerbread. She was also an economist and a historian
  • Publication date: 1922
  • Company: London [etc.] W. Collins sons & co. ltd

  • Download Getting and spending; an introduction to economics  - 3.9 MB - PDF



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