By John E. Hill

This ebook examines Adam Smith’s major ideas in Wealth of Nations because the foundation for potent policymaking. Adam Smith desired to bring up happiness via this formulation for a great existence: equality, liberty, and justice. loose marketplace interpretations of Smith, the e-book argues, grossly misrepresent his inspiration, emphasizing in simple terms liberty and never additionally equality and justice. This publication indicates regulations that mix all 3 to ensure that happiness to be maximized.

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28 Smith assumed that businessmen would be ethically grounded; ethical grounding would prevent market injustice. ”29 His ethics included clear connections of virtues and happiness. ”30 For Smith, a man of virtue was a man who paid attention to the sentiments of others. He was subtle about this; if one wants to prosper, one should work hard, but in that process, one should do no harm to others. Smith emphasized individual competition in Wealth of Nations, but with an important qualification: no violation of the rights of others.

About 70 % of all those sources, both books and internet sources, clearly connected Smith and laissez-faire. That 70 % included many very intelligent people. Here are a few examples. One reason laissez-faire has been so dominant is that it has long been the most basic assumption, the foundation on which American economists have built their analyses.  Walker, stated that “belief in laissez-faire ‘was not made the test of economic orthodoxy, merely. ’”13 That attitude is still dominant among contemporary economists, as the next two items illustrate.

In sharp contrast to the sole use of “invisible hand,” Smith used the word “liberty” 57 times in Wealth of Nations. He also used the word “justice” 48 times and “equality” 13 times. Thus, a simplistic reading would be that equality was much more important to Smith than the invisible hand. By such a reading, justice was almost the same order of importance as liberty. Clearly, liberty was very important to Smith, but if there is to be a harmonious system, liberty requires equality and justice. Such numbers should jolt us into realizing that we have missed something important in Smith’s thinking.

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