Friday, August 1, 2014

Yawn. Another day, another breakthrough...

O.K. so it looks like I've got the WHOLE lump-of-labor story now. It begins in a book published in 1662.

Not just any old book, mind you, but John Graunt's Natural and Political Observation made upon the Bills of Mortality. Furthermore, the passage in question may have been written by William Petty.

So, the supposition that there is "a certain proportion of work to be done" goes back to a time in which there was more or less... a certain proportion of work to be done. Not exactly, of course, but close enough for horseshoes when you're pioneering the prerequisite political arithmetick and demographic statistical analysis. The latter should count for something.

  • a certain proportion of work to be done...
  • a certain quantity of labour to be performed...
  • a fixed amount of work to be done...
In forensic terms, we now have a prime suspect and documentary evidence that contradicts the unsubstantiated (and fundamentally incoherent) Rasbotham/Schloss/Samuelson allegations. "In Economics," Samuelson once declared, "it takes a theory to kill a theory..." Of course that was in the pre-post-modern days before Monty Python and the parrot sketch.

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