Production Precedes Distribution

by | Apr 2, 2024

The progress of civilization has meant the reduction of employment, not its increase. It is because we have become increasingly wealthy as a nation that we have been able to virtually eliminate child labor, to remove the necessity of work for many of the aged and to make it unnecessary for millions of women to take jobs. A much smaller proportion of the American population needs to work than that, say, of China or of Russia. The real question is not whether there will be 50,000,000 or 60,000,000 jobs in America in 1950, but how much shall we produce, and what, in consequence, will be our standard of living?
The problem of distribution, on which all the stress is being put today, is after all more easily solved the more there is to distribute.
We can clarify our thinking if we put our chief emphasis where it belongs—on policies that will maximize production.
– Henry Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson

About Keith Knight

Keith Knight is Managing Editor at the Libertarian Institute, host of the Don't Tread on Anyone podcast and editor of The Voluntaryist Handbook: A Collection of Essays, Excerpts, and Quotes.

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