50. It may at first seem like a great waste of time
and space to have gone through this long analysis for no other purpose
at last than to demonstrate the self-evident fact that land and labor
are the sole original factors in the production of Wealth. But it
will have been no waste if it enables the reader to firmly grasp
the fact. Nothing is more obvious, to be sure. Nothing is more readily
assented to. Yet by layman and college professor and economic author
alike, this simple truth is cast adrift at the very threshold of
argument or investigation, with results akin to what might be expected
in physics if after recognizing the law of gravitation its effects
should be completely ignored.
51. There is ample authority among economic writers
for this conclusion.
Professor Ely enumerates Nature, Labor, and Capital
as the factors of production, but he describes Capital as a combination
of Nature and Labor — Ely's Introduction, part ii, ch. iii.
Say describes industry as " nothing more or less
than human employment of natural agents." — Say's Trea.,
book i, ch. ii.
And though John Stuart Mill and numerous others speak
of Land, Labor, and Capital as the three factors of production, as
does Professor Jevons, most of them, like Jevons, recognize the fact,
though in their reasoning they often fail to profit by it, that Capital
is not a primary but a secondary requisite. See Jevons's Pol. Ec.,
secs. 16, 19.
Henry George says: "Land, labor, and capital
are the factors of production. The term land includes all natural
opportunities or forces; the term labor, all human exertion; and
the term capital, all wealth used to produce more wealth. . . Capital
is not a necessary factor in production. Labor exerted upon land
can produce wealth without the aid of capital, and in the necessary
genesis of things must so produce wealth before capital can exist." — Progress
and Poverty, book iii, ch. i.
Also : "The complexities of production in the
civilized state, in which so great a part is borne by exchange, and
so much labor is bestowed upon materials after they have been separated
from the land, though they may to the unthinking disguise, do not
alter the fact that all production is still the union of the two
factors, land and labor."— Id., ch. viii.
By intelligent observers no authority is needed. In
all the phenomena of human life, whether primitive or civilized,
the lesson of the chart stands out in bold relief. Nothing can be
produced without Labor and Land, and nothing can be named which under
any circumstances enters into productive processes that is not resolvable
into either the one or the other. To satisfy all human wants mankind
requires nothing but human labor and natural material, and each of
them is indispensable.