Friday, August 11, 2017


Roshan Thiran posts (11 August) on LeaderEconomics HERE
What Adam Smith Teaches Us About Becoming Happierarticle
“Never complain of that of which it is at all times in your power to rid yourself.” – Adam Smith
Over the past few years, I have written about great leaders like Gandhi, Ben Franklin, Steve Jobs and others who have shown great leadership. Recently, I have been reading about others who may not have led a nation or an organisation, but from whom we can nevertheless learn great leadership lessons.
Adam Smith, the Scottish philosopher and economist, the father of modern economics and the man who coined the term the “invisible hand of the market” is one of them.
Smith remains one of the most important thinkers in addressing a question that is still as pressing today as it ever was: How can human values and the needs of business work together to create prosperous and civilised societies?
…. For Smith, the reality was much less black-and-white. Corporations, he believed, don’t corrupt our world – they simply serve our appetites and supply whatever it is we demand. The answer to society’s problems does not lie in getting rid of capitalism, but instead in learning how to make better use of it.
Smith (1723-1790) was born in Kirkcaldy, an industrial town in Scotland. At the age of 14, he attended the University of Glasgow before going on to study at Oxford. In 1748, he taught at the University of Edinburgh, where he met and befriended the philosopher and economist David Hume.
In 1759, Smith published the first of his notable works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, a book which examines how we can lead a good life.
In 1776, his best known work, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (known as The Wealth of Nations) was published, and is considered a seminal work that shaped modern economic thinking.
At the time, a nation’s economic wealth was determined by the amount of gold and silver it possessed, but Smith argued that the true wealth of a nation was measured in its production and commerce.
Today, we refer to this measurement as the gross domestic product.
Capitalism is Good?
In the age of consumerism, Smith believed that capitalism was ultimately a force for good in the world. The creation of wealth helped societies look after their weakest members through the provision of hospitals, welfare systems, and other means of support. But Smith also felt that capitalism fell somewhat short in its role of meeting demands and serving appetites.”
Adam Smith never “coined the term the “invisible hand of the market”. He used it as a metaphor for a consequence of a merchant's action in investing his capital in an economy. These claims are of recent vintage owing the wholly fabricated claims by Paul Samuelson from 1948 to 2010.
 Adam Smith never referred to “capitalism”. Nor did anybody else until well into the 19th century - the word ‘capitalism’ was first used in English in 1833 - 43 years after Smith died. It was also rarely used until the 1870s.
Adam Smith never taught at the University of Edinburgh. He delivered an annual series of public lectures on Rhetoric and Jurisprudence in the City of Edinburgh for private fees from 1748-51. This is a fact despite recent wholly erroneous claims made by some inventive Edinburgh students.
Adam Smith corresponded and met with David Hume privately and they remained life-long friends. David kept a room for Adam Smith in his Edinburgh home. They shared similar private views on religion and moral philosophy.

Adam Smith did not believe “that capitalism was ultimately a force for good in the world”. He supported free markets and thought that “merchants and manufacturers” were often tempted to reduce competition so that they could raise prices to the deteriment of consumers’ interests.


Blogger billoo said...

What an awful article. I'm surprised that you even respond to such obvious tosh, Gavin.

It must be infuriating for you coming across these ideologically driven falsehoods.

5:04 pm  
Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...

Hi Billoo
No, its not infuriating. It part of Blog territory.
Visitors come and go. Some stay and become educated.


12:06 pm  

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