Adam Smith has been misunderstood

An abolitionist, he tried to prove with his economic theories that slavery was unnecessary

Editor, The Times:

There was a time I couldn’t abide the name of Adam Smith.

After all, wasn’t Adam Smith responsible for the free market nonsense emanating from the likes of the late Milton Freedman and that far right gang at the Fraser Institute?

That free market capitalist nonsense proved a bust in the year 2008. That was when a good part of the globe’s economy had to be rescued by massive government intervention.

There was no free market tooth fairy to straighten things out.

Well, it turns out that I, as well as the Fraser Institute, have completely misunderstood Adam Smith’s economic ideas.

Adam Smith was a very honourable man. An abolitionist, he tried to prove with his economic theories that slavery was unnecessary. It was better to pay wages to free working men. Everyone would be better off.

Smith also goes on about how merchants conspire to create monopolies and raise prices.

He also states that workers should have decent wages and working conditions. Does any of this sound like the Reaganomics Thatcherism nonsense that we’ve been fed for the last 30 years or so?

All in all Adam Smith’s economic theories make sense. (However, after 2008 Karl Marx’s Das Capital is quite relevant too!)

I have to confess that I’ve read only parts of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. One has to be in the right frame of mind to absorb the whole of the blueprint for a new economic order.

I suspect that this is more than those at the Fraser Institute ever done, although it is said that they have a life-size figure of Adam Smith in their hallway — plaster no less!

As my late waggish friend put it in the days when Michael Walker was a force at the Fraser Institute, “If Adam Smith could see how Michael Walker has perverted his economic ideas, Smith would bust his hickory walking stick over Michael Walker’s bald head.”

Dennis Peacock


Clearwater, B.C.



Just Posted

High winds could lead to dangerous snowmobiling conditions

Advice for staying safe on the mountains Family Day weekend

Clearwater Library hosting open house

Event takes place Feb. 15 from 2—4 p.m.

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Road conditions for Feb. 15

Slippery sections on Highway 5

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read