The Economic Development of Iran
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In the machine age, with the advance of mass production, a new problem has occupied the minds of economists. This new problem is not the Malthusian doctrine of inadequate supplies but rather that of a rate of production too high to be sold continually at profitable prices. With periodic insufficiency of demand industrial countries have faced depressions of varying duration and intensity, which have continued until the rate of production and demand once more were in equilibrium. Despite increased industrial productivity a large part of the world subsists at a standard of living which provides insufficient food values and which does not yield a minimum amount of housing, medical care and education. In industrial countries from ten to fifty per cent of the working population is unemployed during depression periods although workers are willing and able to work in order to obtain goods. In the non-industrial countries, on the other hand, millions of workers are victims of what has been termed "disguised unemployment." They find themselves at tasks which are much below their potential productivity and consequently yield a standard of living substantially under that which they are capable of achieving. The solution to this problem in the undeveloped areas lies partly in spreading the gains of science, both pure and practical; in combining adequate doses of capital and management with the supplies of labor; and in using the excess of resources originating from technical advances in industrial countries . A program on this line would at the same time eliminate inadequate demand in the high-standard countries and depressing poverty in the low-standard countries. As far as Iran is concerned, it is necessary to know her economic background before the necessary measures for economic development can be discussed intelligently. In this respect, in spite of a few works by Iranian and foreign scholars, the materials on the economy of Iran, in English literature, are limited. The result of insufficient and first-hand information or "little knowledge" of some writers has been a distorted picture in which certain points are overemphasized, while the significance of others are under-estimated. Statistics, censuses and data in many aspects are lacking. The absence of statistics makes the study very difficult . Due to the scarcity of published data on many of the topics discussed in the present study, it has been necessary to secure the desired information and data directly from the Ministries of Iranian Government and/or offices concerned. The present economic situation of Iran is the product of an evolution, and can only be under stood by a study of its economic background. Therefore, the application of August Comte's adage that "no conception can be understood except through its history" seemed a logical approach in this study.