Friday, July 06, 2007

Misreading Adam Smith

Economists' View posted "Morality and Economics," a great commencement address by Joan Robinson from 1977. She makes the case that Adam Smith is a believer in morality after all, and those who interpret Smith an advocate of the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest are mistaken. Read the whole thing, but here's her conclusion:
I hope that the moral consciousness which has grown up in modern times in the youth of America, which has led them to protest against the unequal balance prevailing between morality and the market, will continue to prosper in this generation and that you will find that the doctrines of Adam Smith are not to be taken in the form in which your professors are explaining them to you.


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