Division of Labor

In An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, the author is pro Division of Labor. The author begins by giving a background of each chapter and reciting the powers of labor and produce. Throughout this excerpt, he goes into detail of the benefits of Division of Labor. One of these benefits include working together as a team, this allows people to help one another and complete more items than if working alone. Another benefit the author states is that a countries’ supply depends on its annual labor. Its annual labor is the only source of income. This passage discusses the vast improvements of labor and distribution. In this system, the poor are included, unlike an individual system where each is on their own. This allows for the opportunity for many to have a job and support their families rather than abandoning the old and young to fend for themselves.

The author also argues that when working in a separate environment, as farming, the expenses increase and production is less. The author states that by “making this one purpose his sole purpose in life, he is able to produce more than others who don’t have this one particular skill”. This enables those who work best at the skill to complete more than someone who does not have prior knowledge about the skill, allowing for speedy manufacturing.

The author describes those in a position above the workers as “philosophers, people who only observe work but do not partake in machinery”. The author considers this a governed society with inspirational leaders. This allows the workers to be convinced that they are getting the better hand of the deal. It is explained as accommodation and supply. The author finds Division of Labor to be a positive aspect of the work environment. It is a pyramid system with the workers at the bottom, with the least amount of say.

One thought on “Division of Labor

  1. This is all true, but it is also important to think about the context in which Smith wrote. Wealth of Nations was published at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when there was a fundamental shift in the types of markets, and what was being produced/sold.

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