Notes on Ricardo’s Principles (26) – 価値 25

中湖 康太





セクション VII

Section VII
Different effects from the alteration in the value of money, the medium in which PRICE is always expressed, or from the alteration in the value of the commodities which money purchases. 


Although I shall, as I have already explained, have occasion to consider money as invariable in value, for the purpose of more distinctly pointing out the causes of relative variations in the value of other things, it may be useful to notice the different effects which will follow from the prices of goods being altered by the causes to which I have already adverted, namely, the different quantities of labor required to produce them, and their being altered by a variation in the value of money itself.


Money being a variable commodity, the rise of money-wages will be frequently occasioned by a fall in the value of money. A rise of wages from this cause will, indeed, be invariably accompanied by a rise in the price of commodities; but in such cases it will be found that labor and all commodities have not varied in regard to each other. And that the variation has been confined to money.


「貨幣は、海外で獲得された商品(鉱物)から鋳造されるものであり、国家間の一般的な交換の媒介として機能し、また、人口増による食料と必需品の獲得のために、各国に配分される訳であるが、それは絶え間ない変化にさらされている。交換価値と価格を支配する原則を述べるにあたって、商品のそのものの価値の変化によるものと、価値と価格を表示する媒介(貨幣の名目価値; KN注)としての変化を明確に区別しなければならない。」

Money, from its being a commodity obtained from a foreign country, from its being the general medium of exchange between all civilized countries, and from its being also distributed among those countries in proportions which are ever changing with every increasing difficulty of obtaining food and necessaries for an increasing population, is subject to incessant variations. In stating the principles which regulate exchangeable value and price, we should carefully distinguish between those variations which belong to the commodity itself, and those which are occasioned by a variation in the medium in which value is estimated or price expressed.


A rise in wages, from an alteration in the value of money, produces a general effect on price, and for that reason it produces no real effect whatever on profits. On the contrary, a rise of wages, from the circumstance of the laborer being more liberally rewarded, or from a difficulty of producing the necessaries on which wages are expended, does not, except in some instances, produce the effect of raising price, but has a great effect in lowering profits. In the one case, no greater proportion of the annual labor of the country is devoted to the support of the laborers; in the other case, a larger portion is so devoted.


It is according to the division of the whole produce of the land of any particular farm, between the three classes, of landlord, capitalist, and laborer, that we are to judge of the rise or fall of rent, profit, and wages, and not according to the value at which that produce may be estimated in a medium which is confessedly variable.


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