Talk:David Ricardo

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questionable assertions[edit]

i do not have time to go in to detail but there are some questionable assertions in this.

The undoing of vandalism on 10 Dec seems to have also undone some well intentioned edits. I have reverted to the version of 8 December for the reasons below. I can't see any other edits I undo by doing so.

1. Contrary to the current version, Ricardo never spoke to his mother again but was reconciled to his father. According to D. Weatherall, David Ricardo: A Biography, 1976, p.27: "But so far as is known, from the day of his marriage to the day of her death, David Ricardo never saw or spoke or wrote to his mother again ... With the other members of the family reconciliation was gradual ... We are assured on the word of a son-in-law that before Abraham Ricardo died in 1812, reconciliation was complete."

2. This paragraph is about his religion and marriage and Ricardo was religiously a Unitarian not a utilitarian. Again from Weatherall, p.63: "He had become a Unitarian and he had remained a Unitarian." Ricardo was friendly with several utilitarians (Mill, Bentham) but that does not mean he was one. In any case he did not know them at age 21 - he didn't meet Mill until 1810 when he was 38 (again see Weatherall p.75).

IP 12/12/05 (128.40.90.1 13:48, 12 December 2005 (UTC))

+ The work of Ricardo seems to have been largely influenced by that of Montesquieu, whose name does not appear on this page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.26.225.132 (talk) 17:42, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Iron Law of Wages[edit]

The claim that Ricardo is associated with the Iron Law of Wages has made the rounds and appears on this page. I think a number of the references come indirectly from Wikipedia itself. Ricardo never referred to an Iron Law of Wages. He did say that the "natural" price of labor is the cost of subsistance. However, he held that the market price of labor, or the actual wages paid, could remain elevated above subsitance level indefinitely provided the economy was advancing:

"Notwithstanding the tendency of wages to conform to their natural rate, their market rate may, in an improving society, for an indefinite period, be constantly above it; for no sooner may the impulse, which an increased capital gives to a new demand for labour, be obeyed, than another increase of capital may produce the same effect; and thus, if the increase of capital be gradual and constant, the demand for labour may give a continued stimulus to an increase of people...." (On the Pinciples of Political Economy, Chapter 5, On Wages).

This article has contained considerable inaccuracies on this issue over time. At one time it was claimed that Ricardo wrote a book or pamphlet entitled "The Iron Law of Wages". I would prefer that if the article mentions "The Iron Law of Wages" at all, it should be stated the "Law" is frequently attributed to Ricardo, but this should not be stated as fact. --BostonMA 00:57, 7 March 2006 (UTC)


Age Discrepency[edit]

The article lists his age at death as 63 but the dates shown indicate he was 51.

Glenn Barlis —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.204.114.116 (talk) 21:02, 1 March 2007 (UTC).

You have rightly seen this discrepency! And the correct age is 51.

Another thing that I have noted is that his date of birth is written as April 19, but according a very reliable source, it is not 19 but 18th of April.

Here is the source:

Appelyard, D. R., Field Jr., A. J., & Cobb, S. L. (2006). Internatioal Economics (5th ed.). McGraw-Hill/Irwin Publishing. (Page 28) Sajjad Arif (talk) 15:19, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

"Jewish" categories[edit]

In the most recent edit (by Wassermann) the categories Sephardi Jews and Jewish businesspeople were added. I do not really see the value added, and have moved them down the list (also because they were inserted in a very unlogical place). Would certainly prefer deletion (also for British Jews), but the orginal contributor will probably perceive this as censorship .... Still, I can't help thinking that in the light of Ricardo's biography and the personal choices he made this categorisation seems rather inappropriate Robertsch55 11:19, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 03:54, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

questionable assertions again[edit]

This article, like the article on Ricardian economics does not do justice to Ricardo's ideas. Consider the labor theory of value. Ricardo does not assume uniform wages and rates of profits; this is a consequence of the classical idea of competition in which market barriers are assumed not to exist. Nor does he assume that all outlays are wages, as he makes clear in his critique of Smith's confinement of the LTV to mythical pre-capitalist formations. Ricardo expects the lowering of tarriffs to affects wages and therefore profits and accumulation. After all, the subject under dispute was the corn laws. And so on. -- RLV 209.217.195.79 (talk) 11:04, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Ricardo[edit]

Genius is an overused word. But Ricardo must have been. His thoery of comparative advantage was to classical economics what quantum mechanics was to Newtonian Physics. Like quatum mechanics the concept of comparative advantage is counter-intuitive if not quite as alien as QM. Smith the father of classical economics refused to accept the idea primarily because he could not understand it.

This seems unlikely, as Ricardo was only 18 years old when Adam Smith died. Rick Norwood (talk) 21:37, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Criticism of the Ricardian theory of trade[edit]

This paragraph is very badly written. Would someone who knows more than I about the Ricardian theory of trade please correct the grammar. Rick Norwood (talk) 21:34, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Although I have no ability to correct the grammer, I propose to rewrite this paragraph more analytical. I mean it should be rewritten in such a way to distinguish accustomed interpretations (/misunderstandings) and logical flaws which depends on specific theory and interprtations.

If nobody dares to do that, I will try it.Unfair48 (talk) 08:55, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

removing the Iron Law of Wages from the lede[edit]

209.217.195.111 has reverted the sentence that attributes the idea of the Iron Law of Wages to Ricardo many times, now. And yet, every standard reference work I've read on the subject attributes this idea to Ricardo, and his own quote on the subject is provided in a footnote. These works mention either "Iron Law" or "subsistence theory" even if the entry on Ricardo is very short, as in the Concise Columbia Encyclopedia. If longer, they mention it as soon as they mention Ricardo at all. The preponderance of the evidence is overwhelming. If the standard reference works are wrong, then 209.217.195.111 should publish an article to this effect in a refereed journal, not try to prevent Wikipedia from saying what standard reference works say. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:04, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

I do happen to reference Ricardo in my journal article on the demand for labor. Terry Peach (1993) is a Reliable Source on Ricardo and the debates over what Ricardo really meant. This edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Iron_Law_of_Wages&diff=328989991&oldid=328988493) points to several journal articles disputing that Ricardo held any such "Iron law". (The references could be expanded.) This article and other articles quote Ricardo as explicitly denying any tendency for wages to approach physical subsistence. Anyways, the introduction is not the place to argue about this debate in the secondary literature. The introduction is supposed to summarize the article. -- RLV 209.217.195.144 (talk) 06:09, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I would have more respect for your edits if you did not misuse the phrase "original research" to describe looking up information in standard reference works. As you know perfectly well, that is not what "original research" means.

Even if, as you claim, Ricardo did not believe the Iron Law, it is still what he is best known for, and as such belongs in the lede. The article can and should discuss the range of opinions held by Ricardo and what various people think about Ricardo's ideas. But to present views from a small number of journal articles, and not present views from a large number of standard reference works, is to ignore the requirement that Wikipedia present the views supported by the preponderance of evidence. Rick Norwood (talk) 16:06, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Bad Rhetoric Makes Wikipedia Evermore Irrelevant[edit]

I find SO MANY articles like this--bad articles written by smart people; the middle sections would overwhelm even an experienced copy editor. Subject matter experts who contribute to Wikipedia would do well to bear in mind the needs of a Wikipedia audience. More often than not, readers skim an article to gain a basic understanding, or to search for an answer to a specific question. If an article is clearly written, the audience's choice of reference is reinforced, and Wikipedia succeeds. If the turbulence created by unwieldy grammar confuses the reader, it reflects badly on both Wikipedia and the matter at hand.
My advice? Unless you are certain that your writing style is well-suited for an amateur audience, think twice before submitting. Also, when editing a single claim or section, try to harmonize with the rhetorical logic already present in the article. Again, a poorly stated (but correct) claim serves neither Wikipedia nor the subject at hand. If you care nothing about the success of Wikipedia, I might suggest you find other outlets to exercise your subject matter expertise.
Yeah, the middle section is nigh unreadable to me. Quotations need quotation marks, and really punctuation in general would help massively. And reorganizing the info. Gungnir111 (talk) 03:53, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I made a small stab at cleaning up a sentence or two. I will persist as time permits --Be gottlieb (talk) 01:17, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Reorganization of the article[edit]

I propose to reorganize the present article as follows:

  1. Separate the subsection “The Ricardian theory of international trade” as independent article. It has already enough contents to be an independent article.
  2. Leave the present title “The Ricardian theory of international trade” in this “David Ricardo” article, but reduce it to “main article” convention in order to redirect those people who is specially concerned to the international trade part of Ricardo.
  3. Rearrange the present article in order that parts related to trade theory and policy are regrouped to make a coherent unity. Relevant parts include
    • Trade theory and policy
    • Neo-Ricardians (in His Legacy and influence)
    • The Ricardian theory of international trade
  4. If there are no objections to the present proposition for about 3 months, I will be in charge of execute these operations.

The reason for this proposal is simple. As Gungnir111 pointed it on 1 September 2010, middle section has become too long and it is hard to read it through rapidly. Most people interested in Ricardo may not be as much interested to the trade problems as to other themes concerning Ricardo. For those people who are specially interested in trade theory and policy implications of the theory, it will be sufficient to redirect them by the main article direction. Unfair48 (talk) 03:24, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Monetarism?[edit]

The word "monetarism" never appears in the article. Nor indeed does "inflation." If one already knows a bit about money, linking Ricardo to the Bullion Controversy is as close as it gets in this article. Some of the gap for Wikipedia as whole is covered by the Ricardian economics article but it seems like this topic should at least be mentioned in this article. Cardiffman (talk) 19:50, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Vandalism![edit]

In my opinion, the formerly well-written article has been spoiled by the dozens of recent changes by hellomondo and reformeconomist. Both argue from a socialist POV and try to degrade an important economist. I have no administrative rights but suggest to undo their changes and to ban them.--Boarder89 (talk) 15:43, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

That would explain the accusation made on Ricardo, --HeloPait (talk) 12:31, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Hellomondo, following reformeconmist, is still working exclusively on this article. In my opinion this is one and the same person. Perhaps Alexis Tsipras? Article is certainly no more class C.--Herbert81 (talk) 11:04, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

Wrongly imputing crimes on Ricardo[edit]

Please check these changes, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=David_Ricardo&oldid=605930570&diff=prev. Ricardo used information to act in the market, which is exactly what traders do today. There is actually a very profitable market for financial news, because traders need news to work. The statement that Ricardo would be prosecuted today should be backed or crossed out, in my opinion. "Inside information" is infomation you have that only you could have obtained, because you are part of a company or know people who are. Going to the front line and seeing what's going on is not inside information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Paith (talkcontribs) 12:28, 28 April 2014 (UTC) --HeloPait (talk) 12:30, 28 April 2014 (UTC)