The Wealth Of Nations By Adam Smith Essay

917 Words Oct 16th, 2016 4 Pages
In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith describes a modern and efficient economy as one in which citizens have specialized skills that they are able to exchange for goods and services from others. Smith’s writings on this topic contributed to his title as the “Father of Modern Economics”, however, in addition to economics, Smith also wrote extensively about morality. The Theory of Moral Sentiments begins with a description of sympathy and how it contributes to a morally just society. It is evident from these two works that Smith aimed for society to have relatively unified moral and economic visions. However, modern society has not lived up to the standards put forth by Smith, largely because his ideas were questioned and then pushed aside through the adoption of ethics resembling the Austrian school of thought as presented by F. A. Hayek. While the Hayekian model initially appears to be concerned with efficiency and morality, William Cavanaugh addresses how models based off of these principles not only have detrimental moral implications, but have also caused economic disasters like those seen today.
In The Wealth of Nations, self-interest, or self-love is identified as a force that drives efficiency and trade in the market, stating “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner but from their regard to their own interest” (Smith, Book 1, Ch. 2). For Smith, self-interest was distinct from what we think of as selfishness.…

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