Bread and Marginalism

“The End of a Great Speculator” from Ten Years in Wall Street (1870)

“Without food, clothing and shelter, man would most certainly die; no shadow of doubt about it. And since no service can be rendered to man that is more valuable than to prevent him from dying, is it possible, as a matter of actual fact, for any kind of labor to be worthy of greater compensation than that which is devoted to the production of food, clothing and shelter? If you were without all these things and had been without them even two weeks, is there any thing on this earth for which you would give more, even if you had all the wealth of Wall street, than something to eat, something to wear and a place to sleep?” –From Socialism Made Plain: Why the Few are Rich and the Many Poor (1904)