SIMILAR BOOKS BY CATEGORY
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31 pages (2008/1915); 161KB downloadWOWIO Books
; ISBN: WOWIO-00410
For Adam Smith a nation state was simply the total of the people in it; the state’s wealth was drawn from the labor of its individuals as well as from its natural resources.
In Book IV of his 1776 “Wealth of Nations,” Smith argues for free trade and introduces the notion that many individuals, acting out of their perceived self-interest, are “led by an invisible hand” to promote an end which was not part of their intention. That end generally benefits society as well as individuals, reasons Smith.
This selection examines monopolies and trade restraint, either by high duties or by total prohibitions, of the importation of goods from foreign countries. For Smith, mercantile protectionism was a flawed approach: “The interest of a nation in its commercial relations to foreign nations is, like that of a merchant with regard to the different people with whom he deals, to buy as cheap and to sell as dear as possible. But it will be most likely to buy cheap, when by the most perfect freedom of trade it encourages all nations to bring to it the goods which it has occasion to purchase; and for the same reason, it will be most likely to sell dear, when its markets are thus filled with the greatest number of buyers.”