The Economics of Courtship

Welcome to the latest in our series of audio adventures, Tales for Our Time: This month’s pick is the biggest-selling novel of Jack London’s lifetime – Burning Daylight.

Thank you for your kind words about this epic saga. Lynn Foster, my fellow Ontarian and a First Day Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, writes:

Oh man…talk about playing hard to get…this courtship is going to take the true measure of Mr. Daylight….I’m exhausted just listening…what a great story this is..!!! Well done Mr. Steyn for this choice of book and your great character voices…I am having so much fun with this one…and it’s so SEXY…!

Whoa, Nellie, as they say in …well, wherever they say it. I’m glad you find it sexy, Lynn. I wonder if you’ll feel the same after tonight’s episode, in which Dede decides to take her slow-burn courtship down a notch by giving Daylight her general economic theory:

“I see it more clearly than I can state it, but it’s something like this. There is legitimate work, and there’s work that—well, that isn’t legitimate. The farmer works the soil and produces grain. He’s making something that is good for humanity. He actually, in a way, creates something, the grain that will fill the mouths of the hungry…

“It doesn’t hurt if they rob him of all of it so that he starves to death. The point is that the wheat he grew is still in the world. It exists. Don’t you see? The farmer created something, say ten tons of wheat, and those ten tons exist. The railroads haul the wheat to market, to the mouths that will eat it. This also is legitimate. It’s like some one bringing you a glass of water… Something has been done, in a way been created, just like the wheat.

“Now we come to you. You don’t create anything. Nothing new exists when you’re done with your business. Just like the coal. You didn’t dig it. You didn’t haul it to market. You didn’t deliver it. Don’t you see? that’s what I meant by planting the trees and building the houses. You haven’t planted one tree nor built a single house.”

There’s a lot of that about. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Thirty-Two of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in. That’s if you follow our tales twenty minutes before lowering your lamp. If you prefer to leave it to long car journeys and a big binge-listen, you can find all earlier episodes here.

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To become a member of The Mark Steyn Club, please click here – and please join me tomorrow for Part Thirty-Three of Burning Daylight.

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