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The argument in The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith depends on the possibility of failure. Why is this so What implications does this have - Essay Example

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Adam Smith’s book “Wealth of Nations” seeks to explore the causes and the nature of a country’s prosperity and the natural principles that guided the accumulation and allocation of wealth within its society. The economic principles that are mooted in his book have become…
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The argument in The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith depends on the possibility of failure. Why is this so What implications does this have
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Extract of sample "The argument in The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith depends on the possibility of failure. Why is this so What implications does this have"

Download file to see previous pages Smith has based his theories about opulence on the general principle that man is not by nature a benevolent creature but is rather motivated by self interest to seek the best benefits for himself, it also follows that viewed from the other side of the coin, such actions to promote himself and improve his own welfare arise out of a reluctance to fail. The extent of man’s industriousness and motivation are dependent upon the depths to which he expects to fall if he fails.
Smith’s views were offered in the context of mercantilism where a protectionist policy on trade and a free market was preferred, under the mistaken notion that wealth could be preserved within the boundaries of rich nations only by preventing free trade. Smith contested the prevalent views that stated “England would soon be ruined by trade with foreign countries” and that “in almost all our commercial dealings with other nations, we are losers”, leading to the assumption that England would be drained of her wealth through such trade and this would lead to poverty.(Smith, 1775: I:18) Therefore the policy of protectionism was mooted by those who were afraid of failure and loss of the wealth and riches they had accrued.
Smith on the contrary believed that money was not consumable and that the consumption of goods was the greatest source of wealth and also the source of man’s industry which led to additional wealth. Therefore, his views rebutted the belief that indulging in a free trade of goods would produce failure in that it would lead to a loss of wealth. He argued that inspite of the arguments that had been advanced by political writers for decades that “in a few years we would be reduced to an absolute state of poverty” , the realities of a system of free trade and exchange between nations actually demonstrated that rather than the feared loss of money actually coming through, “we find ourselves far richer than before.” (Smith, 1776, I:19).
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