Tag Archives: adam smith

Consumer Confidence Rises; Democracy Declines

By Betsy L. Angert
Copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org

Great News! The good life will soon return to America. Auspiciously, months before the holiday shopping season began, Americans were told that after more than a year of fiscal recession, or what some have characterized as akin to an economic depression, consumers were optimistic. The confidence index and other indicators were much improved. Manufacturing executives assured the public, the engine that drives the free enterprise system was in a “sustainable recovery mode.” In the very near future, products, and people’s sense of need, would be fabricated again. Everything will be right with the world, economically. Few feared the threat that, long ago, Americans had come to accept. The foundation of a democratic system had eroded in favor of consumption.

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Salon interviews the late Adam Smith

obama adam smithBy Michael Lind

The 18th century’s patron saint of free markets shares his surprising views about Barack Obama and the U.S. economy

American labor activists and many liberals support the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would make it easier for workers to form unions. Many conservative economists argue that greater unionization would cripple the U.S., causing higher unemployment and rendering the U.S. economy less competitive. Do you agree?

“We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform, combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate … Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate.”

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