Summary Of Adam Smith's The Theory Of Moral Sentiments

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Imagine a disaster. Rather, imagine August 6th, 1945 when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima. Or October 17th, 1989, the 6.9 Richter earthquake that destroyed San Francisco, killing 60 plus civilians. Or April 20th, 1999, the deadliest school shootings in history, Columbine. September 11th, 2001 a terrorist attack on one of the world’s tallest buildings (the world trade center) in the heart of New York City. August 23rd, 2005 a category five hurricane that swept through the Gulf of Mexico, breaking the levies to New Orleans, Louisiana and destroying the city. Imagine the sounds of planes flying over your house as you sit on your couch and watch T.V., ignorant to the fact that that is the sound of disaster.…show more content…
Smith argues that despite how self centered an individual may be, he or she will have interest in the welfare of others(source). Similarly, no matter how cruel or insensitive one may appear, he or she will be moved by the misfortune of another person. Smith examines compassion and pity, which is “the emotion we feel for the misery of others, when we see it or are made to think about it in a vivid way. The sorrow of others makes us sad” (Smith 1759). Therefore, it can be assumed that in times of a disaster one should become sympathetic for the victims of the…show more content…
Within The Wealth of a Nation’s, Smith accredits the nation’s wealth to individuals self-interest. Adam Smith states that self-interest is what controls the behavior of the people and the economy is “led by an invisible hand to promote an end which is no part of his intentions” (Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter 7). For example, a drug dealer does not sell drugs based on good intention. Instead, a drug dealer sells drugs because it generates him or her a profit. If the drug dealer begins to sell low quality drugs at an unreasonable price, then people will not purchase drugs from the dealer. As a result, to maintain customers, it is in the best interest of the drug dealer to sell quality drugs for a reasonable price. Therefore, self-interest is beneficial to all member of society. In the drug dealer scenario, the drug dealer generates a profit and the customer increases his or her utility from the drug. Smith measures wealth as a flow of goods and services, which is based upon the productivity of labor. Smith posits that workers are most productive when there is a division of workers and they engage in specialization. An increase in labor productivity increases a firm’s output and leads to market expansion. To support market expansion, Smith suggests investing in machinery to make workers more productive. Eventually, a firm will increase capital
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