Thomas Aquinas Just Price Analysis

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In the introduction of this paper, it was said that Aquinas did not write any treatise on economics itself and merely tackled economics under the cardinal virtue of justice. In Question Seventy-seven (77) of the Second Part of the Second Part of Summa Theologica, sins committed when buying or selling is discussed. From here, along with other sections of the Summa Theologica one will be able to grasp the economic theory of Thomas Aquinas of the just price. Firstly, it must be established that Aquinas is in favor of the ownership of properties, and even states that private properties are necessary in one’s life for three reasons. First, Aquinas argues that a man “is more careful to procure what is for himself alone than that which is common …show more content…
This particular character can be noted in [II-II, Q77, A1], wherein it was argued that it is considered unlawful to buy or sell a thing for more than its worth. Now a question will arise: how does one gauge the value of a thing? Aquinas states that buying and selling is established for common advantage such that he who is in need of that which belongs to another will be able to acquire that which he lacks while he who supplied what the other lacks will receive compensation for the value of that which he gave. The exchange being of common advantage should not cause more burden to one party over another. All contracts between the two parties then, should observe equality of thing and thing – the compensation and the thing needed, or money and the purchased object. Thus, Aquinas’ value-for-value theory manifests itself in these words: “if either the price exceed the quantity of the thing’s worth, or conversely, the thing exceed the price, there is no longer the equality of justice: and consequently, to sell a thing for more than its worth, or to buy it for less than its worth, is in itself unjust and unlawful.” (II-II, Q66, A2). This is buying and selling considered in themselves, there is yet another manner of speaking of buying and selling and this is considered as accidentally tending to the advantage of one party, and to the …show more content…
In the earlier stated example of the market raising prices at the coming of a storm, the price increase is considered valid inasmuch as a high demand and lowering supplies would naturally equate to higher prices. The law of demand and supply gauge value and prices with mathematical precision by making use of equations derived from the inverse relationship of demand and supply, which is in direct contrast to the just price theory wherein prices and values are dependent on a kind of estimate focusing on the equality of justice. On the other hand, the subjective value theory, and labor theory of value, are both included in the theory of the just price. The subjective value of theory gauges value on the given worth of the seller to the buyer, while the labor theory of value equates value with the amount of labor inputted in a product. It is understandable why the proponents of these economic theories claim Aquinas as their forerunner. Even in Aquinas’ discussion on usury, the theory of time preference, which was also a theory said to have its roots on Aquinas, is encompassed. Thus, it cannot be denied that although Aquinas did not elaborate on his economic theory, his thoughts were nonetheless stable enough to serve as foundations for future

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