Reply To: Means are always scarce?


I completely agree that almost any good will be able to be traded and therefore will have a secondary end, but I want to make sure I have the implications right.

“If you really have only one end for the machine and the machine fully satisfies that end, then the machine is not scarce.”

If the machine is not scarce, as it is in such a situation, does that mean 1) it’s not a means in the praxeological sense, and 2) that we are not purposefully acting on it?

If machine is a bad example to use, replace it with two wooden boards that have been put together in a position to help you stretch, that will, generally speaking, last you a lifetime before you (well, someone else, since you’d be dead) have to repair or remake it.

I can understand not purposefully acting on air – we just breathe it in without thinking about it – but it’s hard to imagine this case as nonpurposeful action. It seems strange that a key criteria for a use of a means in purposeful action is the fact there there are more ends than means. I, again, agree realistically that this would have another end, the fact that you can trade it. (At this point, this objection is just really theoretical, because I think you have definitely answered my question for the real world. I cannot imagine a good that has only one end, so perhaps it is even silly of me to ask.)