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Thread: Did Adam Smith really accomplish anything of substance?

  1. #10
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    Another issue is the issue of immigration. Neither Marx nor Smith mention immigration to America as a vital piece of success of American economy.

    America wasn't a world power in their respective times.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find that they did mention immigration (especially Smith) since people have migrated, oh, since the beginning of time or so.

    I heard on CNN America allows 2 million legal immigrants every year which is more than immigration in all other countries combined.

    Beware of the misleading presentation of statistics. Best estimates are 10-12 million undocumented in U.S. It could be a little higher now. You say CNN says 2 million per year. I think Time said 3 millioin per year. How could that be if we only have 10-12 million total now? I leave it up to you to consider possible answers.

    Sure, Smith and Marx could have forseen immigrants coming to America seeking "Freedom". However, neither mentions the fact that many immigrants come to America and considering their qualifications, drive and expertise, do jobs with a performance that would not have been possible for most American citizens.

    Immigrants have been coming to the U.S. since the founding of this country, doing jobs others didn't want to do, and moving up so to speak. That's the American dream, and America's history. Look past the idiots who would have you believe our immigration "problem" is significantly new or different than before. Nativists and xenophobes have made the same sorts of arguments and told the same lies for a couple of hundred years now. And they do this in Europe too.

  2. #11
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    Marx was trying to explain flaws of Capitalism assuming people expect Capitalism to be fair.

    I still don't understand your point about Marx.

    Neither is Smith's proclamation of success of the market system is relevant to reality where Smith claimed all participants would be failry compensated.

    Did he actually make that claim?

    I don't know how living 8 people per room for Mexicans or 200 people in China using 1 bathroom in sweatshops is a fair compensation for the services they provide to American economy.

    Of course it's not fair. Although, yes, some will cite Smith, claiming that these people are better off than they were before. And that's where Marx's critique comes in.

  3. #12
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    Smith talks about any economy as a system that treats all members of societies equally and fairly. He doesn't talk about increased drive and urge to work that immigrants tend to exhibit.

  4. #13
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    matclone,

    I am telling you, I am reading this book about Adam Smith and Smith had everything in Capitalism as a fair and harmonious system. Smith's ideas are almost identical to what skipster often posts on here.

  5. #14
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    If I may ask, what book are you reading? As I suggested earlier, laissez-fairests may claim Smith as their own even if what he wrote doesn't support what they're claiming.

  6. #15
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    Its called "The Worldly Philosophers" by Robert Heilbroner.

    Here is an example: Smith thought that as prices of one commodity increase, people will buy less and workers will be laid off in that industry and move to another industry. Hence the production of the first industry will contract and of the second industry will expand. Hence, eventually, that first industry will return as production decreases and demand outstrips supply and workers will be hired back.

    This no longer the case in America. Production of any commodity where prices are too high simply moves offshore where sweatshops are possible.

  7. #16
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    You see, Adam Smith expected ALL industries to have profits and losses as a result of up and down cycles but in America now, like in Communist government in Soviet Union, certain industries ALWAYS have it good by looking to exploit other countries like illegal Mexican immigrants or Chinese sweatshops.

  8. #17
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    Sounds like a respectable book. Okay, that's Smith's theory, and you've pointed out some weaknesses: industry and people moving across borders (and let me add technology) doesnt' fit into his neat little scenario. But, hey, Smith was just an 18th-century guy. Still, you will find people today making the same arguments.

  9. #18
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    Exactly, matclone! Smith thought the system could take care of itself and all native business could stay in one country. Then, the goods could just be traded with businesses from other countries.

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