Wealth of Nations Essay

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Sharmin Khan March 27,2015 Response Paper Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” explains his economical theories, which include how the concept of self-interest applies to economics, complications associated with mercantilism, and the role of the government. When explaining why division of labor has many advantages, he attributes them to human nature and self-interest (Smith, pg.21). He justifies self-interest for humans by stating how humans strive to exchange or barter goods and then the question of maximum efficiency comes into play (Smith, pg.23). He also finds it significant to include that human wisdom is not attributed for the need for division of labor but only self- interest is (Smith, pg.21). According to Smith, humans are rational and will go through any means to always do what is in their best self-interest, unlike animals that are incapable of the same. However, Smith fails to address the fact that human emotion can inhibit humans from being rational to a great extent. As an attempt to promote self- interest, comparing humans and animals leads to Smith contradicting himself. Smith assumes that all humans at all times strive to do what is their best self- interest. In his opinion, the only way to be satisfied is to barter, trade, or purchase goods and nothing else (Smith, pg.23). He does not acknowledge that there are other desires that cannot be bartered, traded or purchased that affect desires of obtaining goods. Smith also individualizes the concept of self- interest by using examples that use one man, or one beggar. By doing so Smith is assuming that these individuals only care about their self-interest and not the self- interest of others. Therefore, Smith also does not acknowledge that self- interest could be considered something more along the lines of family- interest. Also, Smith discusses how every man has a talent that distinguishes

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