James K. Maitland, Earl Lauderdale, 1759-1838.

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Portrait of Lauderdale

Scottish nobleman (he was the 8th Earl of Lauderdale), landlord and dilettante. He was broadly sympathetic to Adam Smith but adamantly opposed to the Classical School. In particular, he disliked the labor theory of value, preferring to see some role for utiltiy. He proposed that the demand-and-supply mechanism should be used to determine long-run price. Ricardo himself took pains to refute his thesis. Lauderdale can be considered a precursor of the Marginalist Revolution.

Interestingly, Lauderdale was among the first to propose that capital was a substitute, not a complement, of labor. He was consequently among the first to have raised the possibility of technological unemployment and his concerns prompted Ricardo to write his famous chapter on machinery. Lauderdale was also an early proponent of the underconsumption thesis, i.e. that excess saving can be the cause of crisis, and defended the Corn Laws. In money matters, he was a Bullionist and a remarkably early proponent of functional finance.

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