Division of Wealth and Labor

The distributed wealth among nations is never going to be the same and there are many factors that go into that wealth. One factor that economist and philosopher Adam Smith talks in An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of Wealth of Nation about is the division of labor. Division of Labor is characterized as “Narrow specialization of tasks within a production process so that each worker can become a specialist in doing one thing”.[i] This concept of division of labor changed the way of thinking in terms of production due to the fact that manufacturing could be done all year, unlike agriculture.… Read the rest here

Manifesto of the Communist Party

Of the many thought provoking and avant-garde ideas contained in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ Manifesto of the Communist Party, the core concept is explicitly stated in the opening line of the document where they wrote, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle.” (126) This concept of class antagonisms is alluded to throughout several portions of the text. They believed that the proletariat would ultimately rise up and unify, dissolving all class distinctions to create a society conducted by a tier-less working class.… Read the rest here

The Wealth of Nations and Essay on Population

An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations

Author: Adam Smith. A pioneering economist who developed revolutionary concepts associated with free market economic theory. He argued that rational people, acting in their own self-interest, could create en efficient economic system. He studied in England but was of Scottish decent. He was influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment.

Context: The work was published in 1776. It was published during the beginning of the industrial revolution in response to the outdated economic ideas of the time.… Read the rest here

Smith’s Wealth of Nations and Malthus’ Essay on Population

The Wealth of Nations, 1776

Author: Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher, and is known as “the father of modern economics.” He enjoyed a thorough education at the University of Glasgow, and after graduating traveled around Europe as a tutor.

Context: Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations during the Industrial Revolution. It was published shortly after Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. At the time, Great Britain’s economy was booming, and it’s imperialist influence was spreading through Africa, the Americas, and Asia.… Read the rest here

On Division of Labor

Smith states that the division of labor significantly improves the productive power in manufacture through three ways: the increased dexterity of workman by repetition, the reduced time brought by the quick transition between workers, and the efficiency brought by the machines. These workers, who perform repetitive and tedious work in order to make accommodations, are only a small part of labor in the industry world. A large quantity and variety of labor is needed in every chain of the manufacturing industry, from collecting the raw material to transporting goods from one place to another.… Read the rest here

Wealth and Population

Adam Smith primarily focuses the relationship individuals have with one another in a capitalist society, which he describes within An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.  Adam Smith begins his inquiry with a look into the division of labor among a population.  Smith determines that the individuals are most productive when they do what they are best at, through their own discovery of his/her own talents and abilities.  With his pin-maker scenario, Smith’s provides an easy to understand example for his ideal working conditions.  … Read the rest here

The Wealth of Nations and Essay on Population

Chapter 1 of Smith’s famous text argued that specialization is key to economic growth. He explained how making each man a master of his particular trade makes production faster and leads to further innovation; a cycle of rapid growth then ensues. This growth spreads more wealth over more people, narrowing the gap between princes and peasants. Malthus, in his First Essay on Population, debunked Godwin’s argument that a more egalitarian society and economics will end poverty.… Read the rest here