Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/32

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20
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE MONETARY PROBLEM.

By LOGAN G. McPHERSON.

THE consideration of every problem concerning the welfare of humanity compels, first, the understanding of what constitutes that welfare. That is, recognition must be had of the factors that forward civilization, which is the condition that permits the attainment by each individual of the highest harmonious, physical, mental, and moral development of which he is capable. To the highest physical life it is necessary that the body be nourished by a regular and sufficient supply of food; that it be protected by appropriate clothing and properly housed; that it receive the exercise and the care and attendance that contribute to the maintenance of the bodily functions. To attain the highest mental life it is necessary that knowledge of that which mankind has said and done shall be brought to the mind of each individual, to the extent that such knowledge will the more thoroughly adapt him to his environment and enable him to most effectively react upon that environment. In the agencies that lead to these ends — that is, in the production and distribution of food and clothing; in the erection and furnishing of houses; in the processes of manufacture that result in the various articles of personal use; in the production of newspapers, books, paintings, and statues; in the composition and rendition of music, and in all the other functions that contribute to bodily and mental welfare and gratification — are employed the efforts of by far the greater number of the adult male population and of a considerable number of the female population of the civilized world. As this effort is so interwoven that it is almost if not quite literally true that the work of all contributes to the welfare of each, and the work of each contributes to the welfare of all, it is manifest that there must be some means whereby the portion of welfare accruing to each individual from the totality of effort may be measured out to him, and as human effort has become the more closely interwoven has this means changed in becoming the more adapted to its purpose.

In prehistoric time, the man whose home was a cave, whose clothing was the untanned skins of beasts, and whose food their flesh and berries and fruit, knew not money and needed not money — the satisfaction of his wants resulted immediately and directly from his own exertion. And so likewise throughout the untold years during which he learned to cook with fire made by the spark of flint and to fashion the flint into spear heads, he needed not of the effort of others. But through the ages, as his developing brain led his hands to other uses, as he learned to