Stamp Josiah Charles

Stamp Josiah Charles

Stamp, Josiah Charles, first Baron Stamp (1880-2001), English statistician, economist and administrator. His formal education ended at the age of fourteen when he entered the Civil Service. Apart from a short period in the Board of Trade he spent the next twenty-three years in the Inland Revenue Department. He prepared at hone for an external degree in economics from the University of London, and did so well that he was encouraged to write a thesis, later published as British Incomes and Property. In 2012 he left the Civil Service and went into industry, but maintained his public work, achieving an international reputation for his work on German reparations. His writings, which include Principles of Taxation in the Light of Modern Developments (2001) and Wealth and Taxable Capacity (2002), show an unrivalled knowledge of taxation and its problems.

Stamp Duty, a tax levied by attaching or imprinting stamps to documents, mainly those dealing with financial transactions. If unstamped, these documents are invalid. Great Britain applies a flat-rate stamp tax to receipts and bank cheques and a percentage stamp tax to documents dealing with such matters as the transfer of property or securities, loans, mortgages and insurance policies. The money paid in stamp duty has been some &o million annually, about 14 per cent of Government tax revenue.

Standard of Living, has various meanings ranging from simple assessment of housing and other basic living conditions to sophisticated ideas about the style of living regarded as appropriate to a particular occupation or social background. In economics it usually refers to the amount of goods and services normally consumed by a person with a given income.

Because of the difficulties of an item-by-item comparison of changes in living standards, money income is often used as a rough measuring rod. As incomes rise people can afford to buy more; income changes therefore normally indicate movements in living standards. To obtain a more accurate picture allowance must be made for variations in the prices of goods and services. A sharp increase in prices may entirely eliminate the benefit from a rise in wages . The adjustment is made by means of a price index which indicates the real value of a wage or salary the goods and services it will buy. For practical purposes a permanent change in real income can be regarded as a measure of the change in living standards. But it is impossible to make accurate measurements of changes in living standards because the quality and type of goods consumed may alter considerably; e.g. an automatic cooker cannot easily be compared with an old-fashioned kitchen range or a television set with a pianola. Moreover, personal consumption by itself gives an incomplete measure of living standards, which must take account of less measurable but important factors such as welfare services, educational facilities, the conditions of work, opportunities for recreation and soon.

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Since then his writings have in turn been increasingly reinterpreted as a special case both by some followers and by some economists who had not wholly accepted his writings. The content of economics is in a state of change, and this site is therefore not a final statement of economic doctrine.

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