Monday, April 28, 2014

Wealth of Nations

Knowledge products created a course that provides background information on Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations. The focus is on the views of Smith that seem to fly in the face of the modern pop culture view of him. We get details of Smith's disdain for businessmen and respect for common laborers.
Our modern environment seems to fly directly in the face of his views. Even the most "right wing" companies tend to want deregulation only as it benefits them. They are happy to make "regulatory sacrifice". Far from being benevolent, they are merely eyeballing the regulations as a convenient way to raise barriers to entry of new competitors.
Smith also disdained excessive profits. These were seen as a failure of the free market. Instead, these profits should have led to higher incomes for workers and increased competitors. This favoring of workers, however, did not extend to unions, which he saw as placing a barrier to the freedom of workers.

The audiobook is a nice intro to Smith that leads you to rethink common knowledge. Now I want to read the real thing.

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