“I’m the founder of Capitalism, and I support this message.”

We are led to believe by McCain and Palin that “spreading the wealth” is the same thing as socialism. What Would Adam Smith Do?

The principle that Obama evinced, which most economists would regard as unexceptionable, can be traced to Adam Smith. In “The Wealth of Nations” (1776), his seminal treatise on capitalism, Smith wrote:

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. . . . The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

– Adam Smith, quoted in the New Yorker, October 27 2008

Do you pal around with Adam Smith the socialist?

3 responses to ““I’m the founder of Capitalism, and I support this message.”

  1. Ohhhhh!!!! Burrrrrrnnnnnn!!!! Thanks for posting this quote. The most frustrating part about the “Socialism” accusation, is that it’s an excuse to avoid a very important debate we are perpetually having in America: How much should the Government be doing for us?

    Personnally, I like roads, police, schools, the FDA, NASA, and the Military. If we “drown government in a bathtub,” like the hard right suggests, then that would be anarchy.

    Plus I have an issue with any Senator/ Congressperson / President complaining about socialism while collecting their paycheck from the American taxpayers. : )

  2. I agree with your sentiments. I think the typical American brand of liberalism is quite moderate compared to the leftist parties in European countries. I just wish our government was more efficient. They just keep adding rules and regulations rather than optimizing their processes and trimming out stuff that doesn’t work, resulting in a bureaucratic mess. Good luck fixing the mess, because ultimately it represents a pile of money to some department head who will fight you every step of the way to preserve it.

  3. Pingback: POLITICS: Is not economic theory subject to becoming obsolete? « Clint’s blog

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