John Locke Rhetorical Analysis

This essay will respond to the questions regarding whether value is objective or subjective, and whether prices can be “fair” or “unfair.” The writings of Etienne Condillac and John Locke reveal that prices are most often objective, and that prices can be either fair or unfair. This essay will evaluate the works from these men and will use practical examples to illustrate the objective nature of value and the varying fairness of prices.
Differing preferences, needs, and supply will show the subjective nature of value. The first factor relates to tastes and preferences. Etienne Condillac shared his views regarding value in his 1776 essay Commerce and Government Considered in their Mutual Relationship. Condillac’s overall argument regarding
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Munger looks to the writings of John Locke to provide answers to the question about whether prices can be fair or unfair. Munger summarizes Locke’s view on prices when he states, “Locke thinks then that there is one price, the market price, at a particular time and place. And that price is always just.” However, Locke clearly states that for a market price to represent the just price, there must be many buyers and sellers. From this criterion, a reader can conclude that competition plays a critical role in determining the just price. This criterion from Locke suggests that monopolies do not necessarily charge a price that is fair. Since a monopoly does not have any competition to ensure a just price, any given monopoly will most likely not charge a just price. In the case of a monopoly, the market price most likely not the just price. Another idea illuminating this price discussion in Munger’s article concerns the ethical question about whether it is just to charge more for a good or service during times of crisis. While Munger clearly shows that Locke does not believe people should take advantage of one another in times of crisis, Locke does not classify selling a good for more during a time of crisis as unjust if the higher price represents the current market

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