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Adam Smith vs. Samuel Smiles - Essay Example

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Adam Smith was an 18th Century professor of logic and philosophy who had immense interests in the workings of economies,and their impact on people’s lives.Smith’s best works are exhibited in his 1776 publication followed by Wealth of Nations…
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Adam Smith vs. Samuel Smiles
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Adam Smith vs. Samuel Smiles

Download file to see previous pages... According to Smith, this entailed a non-interference or hands-off approach by authorities/governments towards private enterprise. His postulates were geared towards advocacy for the establishment of a laissez faire trade policy both on the local and international scene. Samuel Smiles is another free thinker whose postulates on the economic wellbeing of the society heavily echoed Smith’s postulates almost a century later. Smile’s notion was based on the need for enhanced self-actualization and development, which would ultimately lead to a more vibrant individual and societal economic prosperity. Adam Smith was focused more on self-interest and Smiles focused more on morality. This paper seeks to highlight both authors’ arguments with relation to economic liberalism before and during the industrial revolution, and how their focus influenced their works. Economic liberalism can also be regarded as fiscal liberalism because it entails the freeing up or giving a free reign to all matters pertaining to financial activities both at the individual and societal level (Perry, Peden & Von Laue, 2006). The basic aim of economic liberalization is to eliminate the involvement of organizations and institutions in making economic decisions that affect people’s economies....
He attributes the age’s productive powers and increase of quantity of work to three aspects or circumstances. He argues that division of labor enhanced every worker’s ingenuity, it saved time and the great number of machines that facilitated and abridged labor, enabling man to do the work of many (Perry, Peden & Von Laue, 2006). Division of labor also enhanced what Samuel Smiles attributes to failure of society because division of labor encouraged selfishness and individualism. These attributes according to Smiles did not do much in terms of developing societal economies, but encouraged in its stead a culture that bred social vices. These vices negatively impacted on the economic development of communities and nations. Individualism and the self-centered approach towards economic liberalization that Smith advocated for during his time did not help a lot in terms of improving the wellbeing of society. Samuel smiles on the hand, lauds division of labor as a great benefactor to the development and realization of capitalistic ethics. Smiles postulates that true growth in an individual and society in general is only possible through the spirit of genuine self help at a personal level. According to Smiles, no amount of intervention from institutions and legislation can contribute to individual advancement if the individual is not willing. Too much guidance and direction from government policy only leads an individual to exist in a helpless state (Perry, Peden & Von Laue, 2006). This is because they get used to the situation where everything is done for them, and they have no control of their decision-making in life. The prosperity of a nation is dependent upon the sum of individual uprightness, industry and energy just like national ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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