The Wealth of Nations (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations) by Adam Smith. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

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This is an electronic edition of the complete book complemented by author biography. This book features the table of contents linked to every book and chapter. The book was designed for optimal navigation on the Kindle, PDA, Smartphone, and other electronic readers. It is formatted to display on all electronic devices including the Kindle, Smartphones and other Mobile Devices with a small display.


An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of the Scottish economist Adam Smith. It is a clearly written account of economics at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, as well as a rhetorical piece written for the generally educated individual of the 18th century - advocating a free market economy as more productive and more beneficial to society.

- Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Customer Reviews:

  • Seminal work from the father of economics
    Nobody seriously involved in economics can do without this exhaustive work, originally published in five volumes as An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. This classic is a pragmatic and accessible milestone in the history of economics. Its author, Adam Smith, is woven into every economics textbook. However, Smith's theories, which today often are recounted mostly in fragments, frequently incorrectly, reveal their entire social and economic innovative power only in context. Smith burst onto the scene at a time when absolutist national states monopolized the world's precious metal reserves and tried to increase their own wealth through stringent export policies. These states were motivated by an entirely new concept about national wealth: that it stemmed from the work of the country's people, not from gold. Based on that idea, economic markets should balance themselves as if guided by an "invisible hand," impelled by each individual's self-interest. The state has to provide only an orderly framework and specific public goods and services. Even though Smith's image of idealized economic and social harmony may have developed a few cracks over the course of time, his ideas have inspired many well-known economists during the past 250 years, including David Ricardo, Vilfredo Pareto, Friedrich August von Hayek and Milton Friedman. We highly recommend this seminal work....more info
  • Not For Me
    I had to buy this book for a class that I hated and almost couldn't force myself to read it. I had such a hard time with it and found it incredibly boring and confusing. I would never read this book for fun. Unfortunately it does talk about a lot about important things and I could sound like an educated person if I had read it but I just can't understand it. Maybe when I'm over 50 I'll be more interested since I might have a genuine interest in what the book talks about, instead of being forced to read it for a class that I hated so much....more info
  • The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
    Adam Smith is considered a founding father of economic theory.
    In the Wealth of Nations, he laid a foundation for the free market while at the same time explaining some of the problems
    encountered by workers. He explained that all work had to be
    highly organized in order to be productive. In addition, he
    recognized that machinery facilitated work. This notion serves
    as an important foundation for more modern patent practice.
    He praised the ingenuity of inventors and makers of new

    machinery. The author spoke of increased production as a
    condition precedent to enhancing the power of labor. From this
    precept, he explained that the size of a market would dictate
    the division of its constituent labor. For instance, a small
    community in the suburbs might be serviced by a local
    "General Store"; whereas, a county in a large city would be
    serviced by a retail chain store with hundreds of employees
    and a highly sophisticated management structure.In Adam Smith's
    time, metals were popular in the manufacture of commodities.
    Problems were encountered in weighing the metals and arriving
    at a uniform system of metrics. The theory of pricing was
    a function of the toil needed to purchase a good. For instance,
    the price of an auto was a function of the many hours of labor
    necessary to earn the money to buy the car. In addition, the price of an item was related to its constituent parts.
    For instance, the price of linen was a function of the labor
    of the flaxdresser, spinner, weaver, bleacher and overall
    employer. The natural price varied with the price of component
    parts. For instance, if the semiconductor was reduced significantly in price- then the overall price of an electronic
    appliance would go down. Adam Smith saw labour as a function
    of national wealth. He recognized that laborers had to earn
    more than a mere subsistence in order to live dignified lives.
    He told a story of a mother in the Highlands of Scotland who
    had to raise 20 children so that 2 would survive. Presumably,
    18 children would die from various diseases and poverty.
    The interest rates at the time were low. In England, rates
    hovered at 5%. In France, the rates were 3-5% . The government
    could borrow at 2% in Holland.

    Adam Smith defined a wage as a function of the following:
    o the ease or hardship to do work

    Consider the case of a diamond cutter. The art of cutting a
    diamond is a precise process which requires extensive training
    and expert worksmanship. The demand for precious stones was a
    function of their inherent beauty, scarcity and workmanship
    involved in polishing them and preparing them for commercial use.

    o the difficulty and expense of learning a trade
    A skilled surgeon required years of medical training and a
    long apprenticeship in anatomy and surgery.

    o the constancy of employment
    o the trust reposed in the workpeople
    Consider the case of a landowner who took a year-long vacation
    to the Orient. He/she would leave behind a manager to run the
    entire business on a 24/7 basis. This high degree of trust
    reposed in the workperson required a commensurate compensation.

    o probability of success or failure of the venture
    Consider the effort required to cross the Atlantic. The trip
    was lengthy, dangerous and prone to failure due to the vagaries
    of nature, pirating on the high seas and disease. Naturally,
    a worker had to receive a greater compensation to take these
    factors into consideration.

    o the danger inherent in doing the work
    Consider the danger inherent in entering a diamond mine.
    The possibility of collapse was a constant threat. Accordingly,
    workers were compensated commensurate with the threat level.

    Adam Smith explained that fear of misfortune dampened the taking
    of risks. He knew (intuitively) that investors were risk averse.
    In addition, there was a restriction on training new labor.
    In Sheffield, no master cutter could train more than a single
    cutter . Apprenticeships were lengthy. i.e. 7 years in length

    Adam Smith explained that food was a source of rent to the
    landowners. The pricing of metals was a function of the price
    in the most fertile mine in the world. Whatever increased the
    fertility of the land increased its value by implication.
    Markets in foodstuffs were restricted because refrigeration
    did not exist until motors and condensers were perfected.
    Essentially, there were no operable refrigerators until the
    famous Clausius statement was perfected in the engineering

    Accordingly, the market for butcher's meat was confined to the
    country of origin. Wool and raw hide could be transported;
    however, meat was consumed locally as its shelf-life was limited.
    The value of money was a function of the value of annual produce.
    Accordingly, increased quantities of commodities raised the
    value of money. Low fixed rates of interest promoted business
    and discouraged usury. Riches were a function of the annual

    produce which created the wealth and supported the tax base.
    High duties were enforced to protect the local markets. Treaties
    between countries helped local merchants to craft meaningful
    trade sequences. Exports were encouraged . The expense of
    erecting public works was a function of the taxes raised on the
    land and the proportion of yield from the crops.
    Governments granted bounties to merchants who wanted to sell
    overseas in order to assist them in making a profit and
    defraying costs/risks. This work is a classic in theoretical
    and practical economics. It is a "must read" for economists,
    historians, majors in government, financiers, investors,
    literary buffs and a large constituency of academicians....more info

  • Should be read
    "The Wealth of Nations" is written in the manner of one fact following another. It is in this way very much like "The Origin of Species". It is sometimes said that Adam Smith invented the free market economy and capitalism. This notion is absurd. He no more invented capitalism than Newton invented gravity. To people interested in economics the book will be
    enjoyable, in part because it does not have all the graphs and
    math. I think many people simply interested in Human Nature will find "The Wealth of Nations" a key work. As the Old Testament says "Money answers all things." The understanding of money is necessary to undersatanding the world of today or of the past or of the future. "The Wealth of Nations" gives a
    fundamental look into a key part of the nature of man in the world....more info
  • Adam Smith was a fabulous writer!!
    Do not be dismayed by the book's substantial girth! The Wealth of Nations is an essential, brilliant, philosophical read for anyone interested in economics....more info
  • Foundations of micro and macroeconomics
    Using a vast historical database and plenty of everyday examples Adam Smith lays the foundations of modern economics without the formalization which would come later.

    He starts by exploring the need for specialization of labour once societies advance beyond the hunter gatherer phase. As a result each individual is incapable of sustaining his basic needs and thus must purchase these using his labour which Smith views as the source of all value. As a result demand and supply is created for such labour.

    He makes the natural assumption that each individual pursues their best interests.

    He foreshadows the concepts of marginal utility and scarcity in determining the shapes of demand curves for commodities. ( He never actually mentions curves ).

    Similarly, he describes the three factors determining supply prices for commodities ( rent of land, wages and capital costs ) and the various factors which influence them ( the equivalent of modern supply/demand curves for each factor ).

    He puts these together under ideal circumstances to show how supply and demand meet to clear markets ( equilibrium in modern language ).

    He then turns to macroeconomics laying the foundations for GDP and shows how capital can be distributed to "unproductive labour" ( that labour used to maintain productive labour ) such as doctors lawyer entertainers etc and "productive labour" ( that labour used in the manufacture and distribution of raw and finished products ). He explores the consequences of various distribution of each from both the micro and macroeconomic perspective.

    He concludes by emphasizing the importance of government in providing international and domestic security as well as providing public works and institutions especially education.

    Naturally this requires state revenue and he devotes almost one entire "book" to taxes.

    He delves briefly into political economy especially merchantilism and it's detrimental effects to society at large.

    A great introduction to modern economics that is often missed in didactic lectures. This book gives the motivation for many modern economic concepts that is often lost in mathematical formalism....more info
  • Go to the source to de-bunk free-trade mumbo jumbo
    ALWAYS GO TO THE SOURCE!!! Anyone contemplating outsourced jobs and how our economy has sunk so low should read this book before handing a copy of it to their Congressman. You'd be amazed to discover how many of the MBA-Ph.D Economist drones quoting Adam Smith in support of so-called "free trade" policies have never read it (almost none). Although Mr. Smith supports open trade, what is being called "free trade" by modern politicians and multinational corporations who quote Adam Smith in support of their rape/pillage/burn of America bears no relation whatsoever to the policies Adam Smith wrote in support of. Adam Smith DESPISED big business and wrote his great economic tome in support of SMALL to MID-SIZED businesses ... the kind controlled by a real person and not an over-payed CEO and unaccountable board of directors. Pay special attention to Smith's comments about the herring subsidies (Monsanto, big oil), taxes (a necessary evil), and corporate monopolies (Walmart/big banks - whenever they get together the common man is worse off).

    Talking about this book at cocktail parties where MBA-drones congregate is great fun ... kind of like taking the Bible and completing the out-of-context biblical quotes spewed out by radical right-wing Christians (they say "woman obey your husband" and you finish the biblical passages in context and say something like "put your wife above all others ... and husbands don't be vexatious to your wife."). Makes the person mis-quoting the great work look like a donkey and you look like Stephen Hawkings.

    Caveat ... although this book is understandable because Smith ties abstract economic pricipals to ordinary commodities such as herring and corn, it is best read in small, digestible chunks due to the archaic 18th-century English. I kept mine in the bathroom and read one short chapter (most run 5-12 pages) every time I visited Uncle John. Before I knew it all 1,187 pages had been painlessly digested (no pun intended).

    Avoid cheap pro-big-business Chicago School of Economics knockoffs of Adam Smith. Go to the source and read up on what REALLY ails the global economy today. The Bantam version is great because for the price of a double mochachino you, too, can sound like a genius and poke lots of fun holes in your MBA drone brother-in-laws pro-big-business blather! Buy two copies and give one to your favorite politician today....more info
  • Surprisingly readable
    If you have any interest at all in Economics, you'll want to go to the source. This is the source. Adam Smith lays the groundwork for the study of Economics in this very readable treatise.

    Though he is discussing 18th century Britain, the topics he discusses have direct analogs in the modern American economy. Taxes, trade, money, monopoly, tarrifs, and international trade balance are all tackled with aplomb.

    He really lays into Mercantilism and blasts the protectionism it engenders. Never anything less than a champion of the common man, Smith decrys monopolies and other taxes on those most unable to afford them. Though he seems to be a total free marketeer, he takes great pains to examine the types of taxes which would be useful and prudent for a government to levy.

    Once or twice may be fine, but Smith uses this construction for almost every sentence in the book. It is just a stylistic gripe, but the length and complexity of each sentence make digesting the information quite a bit more difficult than it otherwise could have been. I would not be at all disappointed to see this book translated to a more modern style.

    Again, if you're interested in Economics at all, this book is the place to start. There is so much good information here to be absorbed and pondered. I recommend it highly....more info
  • A must read if you are in economics
    The works of Adam Smith are an essential part of universal culture, especially for economics. The introduction to the book places you at the time it was written, which makes it even more valuable. ...more info
  • On The Wealth of Nations
    As a high school student with only a rudimentary understanding of economics, if even that, I found Adam Smith's book to be very informative. Having read it with great ignorance on the subject was able to learn a great deal about economic principles with more depth than "supply and demand dictate price". I found the ideas behind taxing to be simple but effective given their presentation as well as Smith's arguements for a free market economy. Reading this historical text has also helped placed into context his arguemnts against the mercantile system and the taxing of the American colonies because the depth that he goes into about said subjects is more than any history class that I have taken has allotted. For some the wording may seem dated or old or borring but for those who enjoy a more analytical style or writing, such as the style used in the translations of Roman philosophy texts, the writing style should not be a problem. The most intimidating aspect of this book is its size, an aspect which can easily be overcome if the reader finds the text engaging for the above reason. While I cannot say that it is a "must read" or a "required read" for an understanding of economics simply because of the ignorance which I still possess on the subject, I can say that it is an informative read that explains in depth, using cited examples, areas of economics that are easy to grasp if the reader enjoys the text. To conclude this, from my strictly ignorant (although less ignorant after reading this book) point of view, The Wealth of Nations is an informative and engaging book....more info
  • Very good
    The Wealth of Nations, put simply, is the foundation of modern economics. Divided into five books that cover different topics and surprisingly readable, Adam Smith straightforwardly explained the workings of a market economy unlike anyone else. Today the work remains solid and mainstream economic theory remains almost identical to what Smith first produced in this work , now centuries old. Unfortunately it is not very widely read due to its large size, but it should definitely be read more often. Recommended....more info
  • Invislble Hand
    This book is so widely cited and interpreted contrary to the author's original thought, that every economist should read it completely to avoid being misled by such incorrect interpretations.

    First, let us take the "invisible hand" metaphor. When I have studied economy in the University, I was taught that almost the entire book is devoted to the "invisible hand" which means "self-corrective markets", "liberalism", "Laissez-faire" and "state non-intervention". After reading this book, I have found out that Adam Smith did use the term "invisible hand" only once in the entire book, in the discussion of domestic versus foreign trade.

    To illustrate the point, let me quote the text where term "invisible hand" is used: "First, every individual endeavours to employ his capital as near home as he can, and consequently as much as he can in the support of domestic industry, provided always that he can thereby obtain the ordinary, or not a great deal less than the ordinary profits of stock. Thus, upon equal, or nearly equal profits, every wholesale merchant naturally prefers the home trade to the foreign trade of consumption, and the foreign trade of consumption to the carrying trade. In the home trade, his capital is never so long out of his sight as it frequently is in the foreign trade of consumption. [...]Secondly, every individual who employs his capital in the support of domestic industry, necessarily endeavours so to direct that industry, that its produce may be of the greatest possible value. [...]As every individual, therefore, endeavours as much as he can, both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry, and so to direct that industry that its produce maybe of the greatest value; every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it."

    After reading this book, I have found out that Adam Smith was influenced by French Physiocrats. The Physiocrats saw the true wealth of a nation as determined by the surplus of agricultural production over and above that needed to support agriculture (by feeding farm labourers and so forth). Other forms of economic activity, such as manufacturing, were viewed as taking this surplus agricultural production and transforming it into new products, by using the surplus agricultural production to feed the workers who produced the extra goods. While these manufacturers and other non agricultural workers may be useful, they were seen as 'sterile' in that their income derives ultimately not from their own work, but from the surplus production of the agricultural sector.

    I have found out that this book is not about "invisible hand" or "Laissez-faire". It is quite a complete study that covers almost every basic aspect of the economy, and remains an effective introduction to economics to this day.

    This book is so often mischaracterized and politicized that I suggest you to read it completely by yourself. This is a must read for every economist. You can get an audio version of this book to avoid lengthy read.
    ...more info
  • An interesting, but hard read
    The Wealth of Nations handles a lot of economical phenomena in a concrete but sometimes complex way. On one hand the book is filled with ideas, some convincing, some out-dated, some fundamental to the current believe in free-markets. These ideas are combined with appealing (or appalling) examples of the injustice done to people by disturbing the free-market. On the other hand however, I find that certain sections of the book require a lot of concentration. The book is an interesting, but slow and at times difficult, read.

    Essentially, it is a treatise on the power of individuals to maximise their own wealth and therefor a support for the natural liberty of men and an argument for free-markets. Not as a perfect system in which there will be no misery, but as a system that gives individuals the greatest (and most just) opportunity to gain happiness and which will be the quickest to respond to changes in supply and demand (and therefor decrease the misery which is created when governments ignore gaps between supply and demand).

    It is not a book that believes in the pure goodness of companies (but explicitly states that companies have a interest which is directly opposite to that of society as a whole. I.e. the interest of companies is to create a supply shortage so they can ask prices above costprice), but says that the best way to break the power of these companies is the allow free competition. It also reveals that political decisions that at fist glance seems compassionate, might in fact be inhumane, cruel and the cause of much suffering (because on the long run they lead to a supply shortage). The examples given here, are still relevant to view the decisions made by politicians in today's so-called free market countries.

    Comment on review of Micheal Brady, june 13 2005:
    Brady remarks that Smith was the first opponent of globalization. The (strange) evidence he gives to support this statement is that Smith supports the use of counter tariffs, if (and only if) this might lead to the removal of the initial tariff. This statement clearly shows that Smith was against protectionist measures like tariffs and only condoned them if in the short run they would lead to less protectionism and therefor more globalization! Brady also supports his statement by mentioning that Smith opposed any offshoring if the purpose of such offshoring was to supply the home market. The keyword here again being "if". Smith was against a nation stimulating offshoring because he saw no national gain. This however doesn't mean that governments should restrict labor/capital mobility, because this would go against the natural liberty of men.
    ...more info
  • Awesome read
    Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith is a great read for anyone wanting to know the foundations of economics and how money works in our world. I listened to this downloadable book as an audiobook from while I commuted to and from work. I got through it in just a few days and it was less than 5 bucks.

    ...more info
  • Insights on the Fundamentals of Wealth
    This book is a modeling exercise about the components of a nation's wealth, whereby: Wealth of Nations = Land + Labour + Stock (ie Capital accumulated). This model serves as the foundation of the arguments in the entire book; and an excellent guide to analyze our modern market economies. Smith touches on various topics, ranging from market economics, history of colony establishments, state of opulence (briefly describing China in the 18th century), and of human nature and behavior in general.

    Much of Adam Smith's ideas have been distorted by subsequent scholars, some of whom contorted his ideas to suit their own purposes. For example, in coining the word 'the Invisible Hand', Smith recommended free market competition as the foundation for progressive opulance. However, his implicit assumption was that people seeking their own benefits also embraced compassion and sympathy in their moral values. This 'moral value' part is often missing in contemporary economic analysis. As such, to gain an understanding of his complete doctrine, you should read this economics book together with his other book "The Theory of Moral Sentiments", which explores definitions of moral values and virtues.

    Another issue worth mentioning is that lots of people thought that Capitalism was derived from Adam Smith's doctrine, and the current market economies in the USA is a descendent of this ideology. However, if we used his definitions and analysis to compare the current USA market system, you will find that parts of the US system seemed to match closer to the Merchantile System that Smith lambasted as inefficient and short-sighted.

    A lot has been said about Smith's keen observations and eloquent quotes, however, most failed to mention his uncanny sense of humor. For example, in discussing about labor compensation, Smith remarked that "The public admiration which attends upon such distinguished abilities, makes always a part of their rewards; a greater or smaller in proportion as it is higher or lower in degree. It makes a considerable part of that reward in the profession of physics; a still greater perhaps in that of law; in poetry and philosophy it makes almost the whole."; when taken into contexts that Smith is a Scholar in Philosophy, and hence should expect `public admiration' as his total compensation package, this sentence is almost hilarious.

    This book is an insightful read, albeit one that requires much pondering. It took Adam Smith ten years to complete the first edition of Wealth of Nations, hence I would strongly recommend taking a slow pace in this exploration of his wisdom.

    You might ask whether there is an easier way to read this book, perhaps through some summary others wrote.

    My opinion is really not to do that, because the gist of this book is on the thinking process and good learning does not come easy. Spend the time to reflect on his reasonings and you will gain significantly from his wisdom. Not to forget that you should get a copy of his other book "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" to fully appreciate the Wealth of Nations....more info
  • Ignore at your own risk
    This work is, or should be, required reading for all Americans in High School, College or anytime....more info
  • A Must Read For Every Economist
    The Wealth of Nations (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations) by Adam Smith. Published by MobileReference (mobi).

    A great introduction to modern economics. This book gives the motivation for many modern economic concepts that is often lost in mathematical formalism. ...more info
  • Smith was a conservative philosopher,not a libertarian
    Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations(by wealth he meant the total productive capacity of a country's skilled and educated labor force,combined with its industrial manufacturing capacity and agricultural produce)is the brilliant effort of a famous moral philosopher to extend the range of his analysis from the theoretical "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" to the practical application of political economy in a country populated by decision makers who were practicing Judeo-Christians or Deists (who attempted to put into practice the Ten Commandments in their everyday lives).The terms "self interest" and"Invisible Hand" appear in both books.Smith was a friend/acquaintance of the founders of the 18th century "rationalism"of Voltaire,Rousseau,and Hume that advocated the enlightenment that would result if humans would make use of a scientific approach to reason based on an empirical/experimental analysis of the world.The enlightenment philosophers were,in general, anticlerical and opposed to organized religion.However, they were not opposed to the deistic position,which many of them adopted. It is very clear from the context in both books that Smith is referring to the enlightened self interest of moral decision makers who have had specific religious instruction,as well as a general education.Smith spends nearly 50 pages(Smith,pp.716-766) advocating the necessity of such instruction,if necessary funded by the public .Both of Smith's books must be read together in order to understand his overall philosophy.The Libertarian approach,which considers only a small portion of Smith's second book, is a caricature of Smith .Smith advocated a progressive system of taxation.Smith advocated usury laws(interest rate controls).The First Bank of the United States,set up by Alexander Hamilton,was modeled after the central bank control concepts of Adam Smith,as opposed to the free banking advocated by libertarians.Most importantly,Smith's theory of comparative advantage opposed any offshoring of either employment and/or industrial/financial capital if the purpose of such offshoring was to supply the home market.Such foreign investment can only be made to supply the foreign market.Smith was one of the first opponents of globalization,since globalization directly conflicted with the theory of comparative advantage.Globalization advocates base their arguments on absolute advantage.Finally,Smith fully supported the use of counter tariffs if there was any probability that such a counter tariff would succeed in getting the offending nation to remove its initial tariff.Only if there was no probability of success would Smith forgo retaliation.A reader of both of Smith's books will discover quickly that he would have no sympathy for the atheistic materialism of any variety of anarchistic libertarianism. Smith would thus have been an ardent advocate of the conservative Federalist position of Washington,Hamilton,Madison,Franklin,Jay,etc.,while opposing the libertarian views of Paine,Mason,and Henry.

    ...more info
  • Go with Bantam
    If you're wondering which Wealth of Nations to purchase, get the Bantam paperback. This is Smith's complete and unabridged final version of the Wealth of Nations. It provides footnotes on Smith's wording, the historical context, and the differences between Smith's 5th edition and previous editions. In addition, the margin of the pages contain useful notes which summarize Smith's writing. For the price, this is clearly the superior choice.

    Now, if you're wondering whether you should undertake such an endeavor, let me just say that Adam Smith was a professor of rhetoric. He explains everything so precisely, yet so comprehensible. Smith's writing is by no means difficult; I actually found it a surprisingly easy read given its antique nature. Once you get through the first chapter, you get quite used to Smith's writing style. If you put adequate time and energy into it, it's not hard at all....more info
  • Still havent read it..quite intimidated
    I bought this book because it seems like a must read for anyone interested in business and economics. Well, turns out I'm more interested in engineering and have bun unable to tackle the 1000+ page book so far, but am definitely putting it on my to do list. This book came from, not a third party, and is in great shape and exactly to the description they provided. ...more info
  • The all time classic - worth re-reading in a changing economy
    I reread (more like re-scanned) Adam Smith's famous book, The Wealth of Nations. It is a fairly aggressive book based on its size with almost 1,000 pages of fairly fine print of which half of it is dedicated to the supply and demand of corn. But it is surprisingly readable and even interesting. And it is the basic textbook of all economics.

    Wealth is defined as production capability or what we might call GDP.

    I figure with a changing economy, it never hurts to brush up on the basics. We are in a period of sharp changes in supply and demand. It is important for business leaders to try to understand what impact this will have on them and their companies.

    One principle that Adam espouses is the division of labour.

    He also talks about principals, those are the people that supply the capital that is put to use by the agents (people who apply the capital). His view is that people should not do both, they should do one or the other. It is an interesting thought.

    He is very harsh on protectionism (as am I).

    I am not going to recommend reading it because the size is too daunting for many people. I am suggesting thinking of the changes in our economy and how to thrive with them....more info


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