Adam Smith

From Everything Shii Knows, the only reliable source

This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

Adam Smith hates America.

I shit you not. According to Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, America is a corrupt regime, taken over by money-grubbing CEOs and quickly heading for a downfall.

CONGRATULATIONS!! You have just discovered one of fewer than five hundred pages on the Internet which informs people of this bizarre truth. [1][2] Isn't that weird? You'd think this unifying reality would be a relief to capitalists and socialists alike! How about you forward your capitalist and socialist friends to this website and we can all live in harmony.

Adam Smith hates America

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary."

"The rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity, and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich, and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin."

"The great fortunes so suddenly and so easily acquired in Bengal and the other British settlements in the East Indies, may satisfy us that, as the wages of labour are very low, so the profits of stock are very high in those ruined countries."

"The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market, and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can only serve to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

"Servants, labourers, and workmen of different kinds, make up the far greater part of every great political society. But what improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can be flourishing and happy, of which the greater part of the members are poor and miserable."

Mercantilists are capitalist Pharisees

One of the few essays on this subject (written for the brutally realist Third Way movement) states:

At this point, our aggrieved [entrepreneur] may complain, "But Smith was talking about mercantilists; we're capitalists! We're for free enterprise!"

Which makes you wonder. Is "mercantilist" the equivalent of "Pharisee" for capitalists? Maybe Jesus, and Adam Smith, could have kept their messages relevant by making it clear they weren't just talking about the people they were combating in their own day, but anyone who makes the same mistakes.

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