POLITICAL ECONOMY

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POLITICAL economy

consisted in 1905 of 11,338 members under the command of an inspector-general, each county being supervised by a county-inspector and divided into separate districts over which are placed district-inspectors. Below these officers are sergeants, and constables, trained in the use of arms and disciplined as soldiers. The police-force of Scotland numbered 5,356 and of England and Wales 45,202.

In the United States each town or city has its separate administration; but, in general, the police-system is much like that of England. The present police organization of New York, which was substituted for the inefficient night-watch in 1845, may be taken as a type of the American system generally. It consists of a board of police, comprising four commissioners appointed by the mayor, and the police-force, who with their various officers are appointed by the board. The city is divided into four inspection-districts, which are subdivided into 35 precincts. At the head of the force are a commissioner and deputies, a chief inspector, under whom are one borough and 12 district-inspectors, a captain over each precinct, sergeants, roundsmen (visiting officers), patrolmen (the body of the force) and doormen at the stations, besides 23 surgeons and 68 police-matrons. The captains report every morning to the central office. The roundsmen must see that the patrolmen perform their duties, and the sergeants are responsible for both. Besides the general force there are several bodies or squads organized for special services. Among these are the sanitary police, the detective-force, the harbor-police, park-police [and two boiler-inspectors. In 1906 the police-force of Greater New York numbered 9,329 men, of whom 7,772 were patrolmen, the annual cost of the entire force being about 15 million dollars. The police-force of Chicago — now the second city in the Union — during the same year numbered 4,345, and cost $5,610,845.

Polit'ical Écon'omy has various definitions; but there is a general agreement that it is the science relating to the production, distribution and exchange of wealth. The word is derived from the Greek words oikos for house and nomos for law or rule ; but in its wider application it refers not only to the laws and institutions of nations in reference to industry and trade but to the arrangements of Providence in reference to the supply of man's physical wants. Although economic questions of various kinds occupied the minds of the Greeks and some other ancient nations and were discussed by their leading thinkers and writers, there was no real science or system of political economy until the time of Adam Smith and his forerunners in the 18th century. Smith's Wealth of Nations was the first systematic exposition of the subject by a man thor-

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oughly qualified for his task; and his teaching was defined by himself as a system of natural liberty. He opposed all regulations and restrictions of trade, as protective tariffs, that seem to interfere with the natural order of things, thus following the school of Rousseau in advocating a return to nature from what he deemed a perverted civilization. He also followed the example of his predecessors, and showed himself in harmony with the new era by making labor the source of wealth. The greatness of Smith's work lies in the fact that he summed up the best thought of preceding times and that his writings have been made the basis of all subsequent progress in economic science. But great as his influence has been, his ideas have by no means commanded general acceptance. His system has been variously criticised as too abstract and merely theoretical; and his followers have been characterized as "students of maxims rather than markets." The strongest point, perhaps, that is urged against him and his school is that they overlook the importance of the nation as the unit in economic growth and development. In answer to Smith's various arguments it is urged that economic questions must be studied in the light of actual conditions in each state or nation and that the wise policy can be determined only from a knowledge of all the factors that enter into industry and trade.. Great changes have also taken place since Smith's time, which have added new complications to the questions at issue and have placed political economy in a still more unsettled and unsatisfactory condition. Among these changes the most important is the introduction of machinery, by which individual enterprises have given place to vast corporations and trusts, thus making the relations between capital and labor one of the leading questions in political economy; and it is urged with great force that the concentrations of capital make such a condition in the industrial world that the various issues between capital and labor cannot be settled by the mere "law of supply and demand," but that moral principles must also be invoked. Hence the relation of political economy to ethics must be considered by students of the science in our time.

In the United States one of the leading questions in political economy is that of high or low tariff. While individual opinions range from the extreme positions of absolute free trade (the admission of all foreign imports without duty) to tariff rates that would almost prohibit the introduction of foreign products, the Republican and Democratic parties may be said to be divided on the question whether tariff duties should be levied on foreign imports for purposes of revenue only or whether we should also have a "system of protec-