The Distribution of Products

market, markets, particular, fruit, world, value, countries, materials and fairs

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A device intended to remedy this is the set ting apart of a specified building, or open square, in each village, to which, upon specified days, all producers who have anything to sell shall bring their wares. In acordance with the par ticular kind of exchanges which it is expected will take place in it, each stall or portion of the market-place is called a vegetable market, a fish market, etc., as the case may be.

The market brings together in a convenient manner the persons of a single locality who have products to sell. Annual markets, or fairs, serve the same purpose for larger areas. Many of these fairs were once of national importance and lasted for a month or more, though the usual period was from one to two weeks. Such a fair still survives in the " Messe " at Leipzig, Ger many, and a much more extensive one in Russia, at Nijni-Novgorod. Within the six weeks dur ing which this great fair is held it is said that it is frequented by 300,000 persons, and that goods are exchanged to the value of nearly This plan of markets and fairs has many advantages. Otherwise it would not have re mained, as it has in many countries for centu ries, the ordinary method of making the great 1 Gibbons, The History of Commerce in Europe, p. Si.

majority of the most common exchanges. The grouping of these exchanges at a particular place, and on particular days, forms a favorable condi tion for the rise of a special class of intermediate traders, who perform the function of transferring products, without bringing the seller and pur chaser into actual contact at all. A buyer who has either studied the desires of consumers for himself so that he feels warranted in accumulat ing a stock, or is in relation with still other buyers who are in such a position, gives in ex change either other goods, or, more frequently, money or its representative.

In one sense this is only a further extension of the division of labor. The dealer performs a part of the process of production, if he adds to the utility of the product by dividing it into smaller portions more suitable for consumption, by mixing different commodities, as the druggist does, to make them available for consumers, by storing goods until consumers desire them, or by any other of the many methods of increasing the utility of products just befcre they pass into the hands of their final purchasers. But all this might be done and often is done by the original producers. The trader still performs a unique function for society by his aid in the interchange of products, if he merely assumes the risks in volved in accumulating a stock of goods, in con fidence that there are purchasers who will be attracted where the stock is known to exist.

The word " market " has been applied in an earlier paragraph to the special place where goods of a particular kind are exposed for sale. Even where such markets as these exist, the word market is also used in a wider sense. By

the market for fruit, using the term in this larger sense, is meant not merely the particular place where fruit is exposed for sale, but the entire series of sales and purchases within a given area. It is said that there is a good market for fruit, when there is a considerable supply of fruit, within the designated area, and a considerable number of persons for whom fruit has a high subjective value. A local market is a limited area within which subjective values may be com pared easily, and within which the same general conditions of production prevail. Wider markets are formed when by improved methods of trans portation it is found possible to transfer goods from one market to another, thus checking the tendency toward lower values in the market which is well supplied, and toward higher values in the market in which they are scarce. The two local areas thus become one market when ever the same conditions of value prevail in both. The characteristic tendency of modern com merce is the breaking down of the barriers between different markets, and the gradual development of the world market for all ordi nary commodities.

To nations of the modern world with their intricate commercial ramifications, the opening or closing of a market for their surplus goods is an event of vital significance. An abundance of particular natural products will not insure that markets for them will be won or held, unless there is also an enlightened commercial policy, and the commercial policy of a nation is closely connected with its general industrial policy. The manufacture of goods becomes an aid to commerce when it is specifically directed toward the markets of the world rather than toward those of the immediate locality. Many nations, both in the ancient and the modern world, have occupied themselves chiefly in the making of goods which are intended for foreign markets. In some cases the materials from which they are made have first been brought from other countries, perhaps from the very countries to which the finished products are returned. The Phoenicians, many centuries before the Ghristian Era, were especially skilful in the preparation of purple and scarlet dyed fabrics, and it was their custom to import the new materials for these goods, and then to reexport them in their manu factured forms. They sent out also carpets, works in gold, silver, ivory, amber, and glass, in return for which they obtained wool, hides, metals, and The English, at the present day, import raw cotton, manufacture it into cloth, and return it to the very regions in which the cotton is grown, — obtaining in return for the added value, cereals, tobacco, sugar, addi tional raw materials for further manufacture, and such other products as they may desire.

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