Many economic principles can be dealt with best in the first place on the assumption that when a change is observed in the price of a particular commodity or service it means a change of value peculiar to that one kind of commodity or service, and is not merely a part of a general change in the level of prices, which is only another name for a change in the value of money.
To endeavour to acquire some clear notion of what makes the value of money change has become the duty of all who think themselves capable of expressing useful opinions on economic affairs. The following pages embody an attempt to assist in this task. They do not profess to be exhaustive: investigation of the past and discussion of schemes for the future have both been sacrificed in order that space might be gained for treatment of the present.
The early history of money
Living in civilized communities, and accustomed to the use of coined metallic money, we learn to identify money with gold and silver; hence spring hurtful and insidious fallacies. It is always useful, therefore, to be reminded of the truth, so well stated by Turgot, that every kind of merchandise has the two properties of measuring value and transferring value.

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