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adam smith wealth of nations paper.docx

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Department
History
Course Code
HIST-UA 105
Professor
ertman

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Adam Smith- Wealth of Nations
One idea that is prevalent throughout Adam Smith’s Inquiry Into the Nature and
Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the notion of the invisible hand that makes the selfish
desires of individuals into a greater force that benefits society as a whole. Smith claims
that it is in vain for man to expect constant help from “his brethren” and that “it is not
from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner,
but from their regard to their own interest.” (Smith, 22). To Adam Smith the concept of
self interests does not have as negative a connotation as it does today. Smith deems the
idea as being perfectly natural and necessary for our societies. Smith believes that we
can’t depend on the conscience and benevolence of people such as the producers of
society to do things for us but instead we should expect them to do things for themselves
and through the force of the invisible hand, their self interests would benefit us as well.
For example, if two butchers are selling meat at the same price then consumers are
willing to buy from either one. However, if one butcher sells the meat at a higher price
then consumers would be more willing to buy the cheaper meat from the other butcher
and so the butcher selling the meat at the higher price would have an incentive to lower
costs to attract customers to buy his products instead. Thus this kind of thinking is what
constitutes a free market.
A free market society is one in which people are forced to consider what other
people want like in the example of the butchers. It is a society based on exchange in
which the one gives something of value in exchange for something else of value. Thus
Adam Smith is very pro laissez-faire because he believes that people make the best
decisions when they are left alone to do so and believes that government should not

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Description
Adam Smith Wealth of NationsOne idea that is prevalent throughout Adam Smiths Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the notion of the invisible hand that makes the selfish desires of individuals into a greater force that benefits society as a whole Smith claims that it is in vain for man to expect constant help from his brethren and that it is not from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner but from their regard to their own interest Smith 22 To Adam Smith the concept of self interests does not have as negative a connotation as it does today Smith deems the idea as being perfectly natural and necessary for our societies Smith believes that we cant depend on the conscience and benevolence of people such as the producers of society to do things for us but instead we should expect them to do things for themselves and through the force of the inv
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