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What Did Adam Smith Believe About Government?

He’s had leaving left academia in 1764 to tutor the young duke of Buccleuch 😊 For more than two years they travelled throughout France and into Switzerland, an experience that brought Smith into contact with his contemporaries Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, François Quesnay, and Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot 😊 Smith was able to retire to Kirkcaldy where he could write The Wealth of Nations with the retirement pension he received as a servant to the duke 😊 He published it in 1776. This was the same year that the American Declaration of Independence was adopted. In 1778, he was elected commissioner of customs. This job saw him enforce anti-smuggling laws. In The Wealth of Nations, he’s having having defended smuggling as a legitimate activity in the face of “unnatural” legislation. Adam Smith Never married. He was buried in Edinburgh, July 19, 1790. [1]
However, this assumption is incorrect. My article demonstrates that the assumption is incorrect. Building blocks of Smith’s economic system do not allow the concentration of wealth—not due to normative constraints, but to how the blocks are set up in his theory to maximize the “wealth of nations.” Further, even in neo-classical economics, in a competitive economy with no entry barriers, profits should decline over the long term, so profit concentration is not an equilibrium prediction. For example, high profits at firms are a sign economic success and must be maintained over time. Economics has not been able to resolve these conflicts. (We thank Derrius and Spangler, for these recent insights). [2]
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Smith restricts the scope of government intervention in domestic or foreign markets. He qualifies his support of equal taxes on foreign and domestic goods by arguing that taxes on the necessaries of life can be problematic for prosperity: “Such taxes, when they have grown up to a certain height, are a curse equal to the barrenness of the earth and the inclemency of the heavens.” Similarly, his support for retaliatory tariffs is conditional upon these measures being temporary and directed toward establishing freer trade. He cautions against “that insidious and crafty animal vulgarly called a statesman or politician” because statesman are often swayed by the opinion of the moment rather than the long game. What is the problem? Smith adds: (last amended 43 days back by Sanchez McAllister, Tongchuan China) [3]
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Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments 1759 (TMS) contains a very unique version of moral sentimentalism. He’s having done not expressly lay out a political philosophy in similar detail, but a distinctive set of views on politics can be extrapolated from elements of both TMS and his Wealth of Nations (1776, WN); student notes from his lectures on jurisprudence (1762–1763, LJ) have also helped flesh out his thoughts on governance. A central thread running through his work is an unusually strong commitment to the soundness of the ordinary human being’s judgments, and a concern to fend off attempts, by philosophers and policy-makers, to replace those judgments with the supposedly better “systems” invented by intellectuals. In his “History of Astronomy”, he characterizes philosophy as a discipline that attempts to connect and regularize the data of everyday experience (Smith 1795: 44–7); in TMS, he tries to develop moral theory out of ordinary moral judgments, rather than beginning from a philosophical vantage point above those judgments; and a central polemic of WN is directed against the notion that government officials need to guide the economic decisions of ordinary people. Perhaps taking a cue from David Hume’s skepticism about the capacity of philosophy to replace the judgments of common life, Smith is suspicious of philosophy as conducted from a foundationalist standpoint, outside the modes of thought and practise it examines. He instead maps the common world from within and corrects it as necessary using his own tools, rather than trying to justify or criticize it externally. His goal is to dismantle the line between ordinary and theoretical thought. This intellectual project is not unconnected with his political interest in guaranteeing to ordinary individuals the “natural liberty” to act in accordance with their own judgments. Philip Gonzales of Tangerang in Indonesia, November 26, 2021 edited the text. [4]
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Refer to the Article

  1. https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Smith.html
  2. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/adam-smith-and-inequality/
  3. https://www.adamsmithworks.org/speakings/adam-smith-myths-and-realities-cbaa53f9-bf6c-49c3-a60e-ed71c921be44
  4. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/smith-moral-political/
Mae Chow

Written by Mae Chow

Passionate about writing and studying Chinese, I blog about anything from fashion to food. And of course, study chinese! I'm a passionate blogger and life enthusiast who loves to share my thoughts, views and opinions with the world. I share things that are close to my heart as well as topics from all over the world.

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