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By J. E. Meade (auth.)

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Additional info for Liberty, Equality and Efficiency: Apologia pro Agathotopia Mea

Sample text

A Property-Owning Democracy. A Socialist State. I shall deal with the first two of these very briefly and cursorily because the problems connected with them are familiar to most economists. My present purpose is to recommend for much closer attention and study the last two modes of a Property-Owning Democracy and of a Socialist State. III THE TRADE UNION STATE By trade union action or by legislation a minimum real wage might be set for all work done. The outstanding disadvantage of this form of action is that it would reduce the volume of employment that it was profitable to provide with a given amount of real capital equipment.

II THE PRESENT POSITION IN THE DEVELOPED COUNTRIES The problem is already a very real one in the highly industrialised developed countries in many of which there is a really fantastic inequality in the ownership of property. 1 Percentage of population Distribution of Personal Wealth in the United Kingdom Percentages of total personal wealth 1960 1911-13 1936-38 69 87 92 1 5 10 56 79 88 42 75 83 Percentages of personal income from property (before tax) 1959 60 92 99 1950s in the United Kingdom, in spite of some marked equalisation since pre-First World War, the ownership of private property was still extremely unequal.

Net capital accumulation means that the machinery and plant which is newly installed will exceed the machinery and plant which is physically worn out; technical progress will raise output per worker employed; and increased investment in training and education will also raise the workers' productivity. Unless there is a very rapid rise in the size of the new working population to be spread over the new array of equipment, real output per head is likely to be higher. But as every professional economist knows, output per head (the average product of labour) is not the same thing as the addition to output which is due to the employment of an additional amount of labour (the marginal product of labour).

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