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Public Finance

1. In any society that has passed beyond the lowest stage of social development, some form of governmental organisation is found to be an essential feature. The various activities or functions of this controlling body furnish the material for what are known as the 'Political Sciences' (Staatswissenschaften). Every governing body or 'State' requires for the due discharge of its functions repeated supplies of commodities and personal services, which it has to apply to the accomplishment of whatever ends it may regard as desirable. The processes involved in obtaining and using these supplies naturally vary much in the several stages of social advance: they are comparatively simple and direct in a primitive community, while in a modern industrial society they present a high degree of complication, and are carried out by elaborate regulations. For all States, however—whether rude or highly developed—some provisions of the kind are necessary, and therefore the supply and application of state resources constitute the subject-matter of a study which is best entitled in English, Public Finance.

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 No. 118
 Posted on 7 June, 2006
 
 
 
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