Adam Smith was a Scottish professor of moral philosophy He published his classic The Wealth of Nations in 1776, the year the American Revolution began Smith became widely known for his ideas of free markets, laissez faire commerce, and the invisible hand Yet English politicians, landed gentry, and the nobility paid little attention and enacted none of Smith s suggested reforms.The American colonies, however, began their existence as an independent nation in 1781 with no money, no industry, no banks, and deep in debt The Founding Fathers particularly Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin turned to the ideas of Adam Smith to create and jump start an economic system for America with both immediate and long sustained results.This little known but vital part of U.S history is now revealed in Roy C Smith s highly readable new book....
|Title||:||Adam Smith and the Origins of American Enterprise: How the Founding Fathers Turned to a Great Economist's Writings and Created the American Economy|
|Publisher||:||St Martin s Griffin February 1, 2004|
|Number of Pages||:||240 pages|
|File Size||:||699 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Adam Smith and the Origins of American Enterprise: How the Founding Fathers Turned to a Great Economist's Writings and Created the American Economy Reviews
I bought this book after reading Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. It is a great companion to Adam Smith's magnum opus. It provided the context and history that enhanced my understanding of the world in which Adam Smith wrote his great work.
It started in an interesting way and then got lost.
If you want to get into how our country was formed financially you must read this book. The auther is educated in economics and history. It is easy to understand, this should be taught in high school.
Roy C. Smith offers a readable, straight-forward, right-of-center review of the famous economist, Adam Smith. The book introduces Smith's thoughts in basic detail, and spends a great deal of time putting Smith in the context of the American revolution, which of course is when "The Wealth of Nations" was published, in 1776. At times the history seems to drown-out the thems of Adam Smith's contribution, but by the conclusion the author ties up his thesis that Adam Smith's thought had a pervasive and substantial impact on the Founding Fathers, and upon the way Americans have done busness since then. A good read for introductory or undergraduate readers. Author's focus remains on Smith and American context. Little mention of John Maynard Keynes is made, and no discusion of Marx or socialism as a competing alternative. This did not detract from book, as plenty of other books and articles speak to those subjects.
When I purchased this book, I was expecting an explanation of Adam Smith's theories, how the founding fathers viewed them, and how they impacted American economics. Given the title, I think they were reasonable expectations, but the book did not live up to them.
R Smith is certainly correct that Hamilton,Washington,Madison,Franklin,etc.,had either read the Wealth of Nations(WN,1776) or were familiar with its point of view.Of course,these individuals formed the Federalists.They were the real thing as far as genuine conservatism is concerned.They were opposed by the Anti Federalsts(Mason,Randolph,Henry,Paine,Jefferson,etc.)who took their cue from the work of J B Say.These individuals are not conservatives.They are libertarians.It is this group that believed in laissez faire,opposed all tariffs,opposed a uniform currency,opposed the creation of a central bank to control the problematic behavior of private commercial banks,opposed the creation of a strong federal government,opposed giving the federal government the power to tax,etc.R Smith has obviously not read the Wealth of Nations in its entirety because the real Adam Smith favored overall progressive taxes,supported both revenue and retaliatory tariffs,supported extensive public goods and works spending by a democratically elected government(as opposed to the " Government" tyranny of George III.R Smith badly misrepresents Smith's views here),had a very clear understanding of free market failure,externalities and spillover effects,the need to prevent any bank loans from going to projectors(J M Keynes's rentiers and speculators),prodigals,and imprudent risk takers,the need to fix the rate of interest in the long run permanently at a low level a little bit above the prime rate,the skewing of loans to the sober middle class entrepreneurs who would use the loans to create productive jobs and not leveraged buyouts ,dot com frauds,and subprime scams, and the importance of making sure that all individuals had an education and religious instruction that would be provided free of charge by the state if they were unable to pay for such education themselves.There is no substantial discussion of any of these Smithian topics anywhere in R Smith's book.R Smith appears to believe that Adam Smith was a libertarian.Nothing could be further from the truth.The interested reader is encouraged to read pp.280-340,especially Smith's summary on pp.339-340,434-439,681-690,716-768,and 794-795 of the Modern Library(Cannan)edition of the WN to discover the real Adam Smith.You will not find him in this book.
Adam Smith and the Origins of American Enterprise: How the Founding Fathers Turned to a Great Economist's Writings and Created the American Economy has the longest and most promising title relative to its meager contents of the book I have read. It paints a broad-stroke economic history of America from colonial days to the twentieth century and comments periodically on the consistency between Smith's vision and America's successful execution of an economic and political system based on the principle of individual freedom. Mistakes - Adam Smith succeeded his professor at the University of Glasgow (it was Thomas Craigie who did so) and Benjamin Franklin was aware of Smith (they knew each other and it thought Franklin saw chapter drafts of the Wealth of Nations) - makes the reader wonder about other factual declarations in the book. More significantly, the author does not appear to have referred directly to either the Wealth of Nations or the writings of the founding fathers in his research. I was looking for and did not find what our founding fathers actually said about Smith's revolutionary ideas.