John Steward of Jesus
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Purpose of Machines

May 7, 1982

We do not understand the benefit of machines if we think of them only as labor reducing devices.  It is only if they are product increasing devices that we benefit from them.  If men have the same products available with less work, they are only increasing idleness, which is not itself good.  It is only as men increase products available with the same expenditure of work by the total populace that living standards improve.  A farmer who buys a bigger tractor simply so that he has more time to loaf in town has done more harm than good for other men in that decision.  They must produce a tractor with no more of the farmer's product made available.