Adam Smith

Love and Capitalism
September 25, 2009

Caritas in Veritate: On Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth By Pope Benedict XVI (Ignatius Press, 157 pp., $14.95) I. Are we facing an economic crisis? I do not mean the crisis of the credit markets that has wiped trillions off the global balance sheet and plunged the world into recession. I mean a spiritual crisis, of which the crash is but a symptom. According to Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, we are in the midst of a “late capitalist . . .

A False Distinction
April 13, 2009

On a recent trip to the Twin Cities to give a lecture, I was invited to write something by the editors of Contexts, a snappy journal associated with the American Sociological Association designed to bring sociological knowledge to the informed reading public. The magazine runs a feature called "One Thing I Know." Tell us one thing you know, the editors asked.  Accepting their invitation, the one thing I claimed to know is that there is no such thing as a distinction between "classical" and "modern" liberalism.

Free Traitors
October 08, 2008

Jagdish Bhagwati is a humble man. He will tell you so himself. Describing the effect of his book In Defense of Globalization during a speech at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) last fall, the Columbia economist politely refused credit for single-handedly dampening growing concerns about the fallout from free trade. Fears of trade are "low-key," he said. "I won't say it's because of my book. I have colleagues who would say that. ...

Falling Down
September 10, 2008

Joseph Stiglitz on the economy.

Adam Smith In Tennessee
June 11, 2008

Thirty-six hours ago, on our annual trek to our summer residence on Tybee Island, Georgia, my wife and I stopped at a Comfort Inn in Dandridge, Tennessee, a few miles west of the Great Smoky Mountains. For dinner, we ate very well and very cheaply (for both of us, under $30.00 including a 30-percent tip) at a Perkins restaurant. Around us were tables full of contented, obese patrons, many of whom left with cartons of leftovers. A few days before, I'd seen on the CBS Evening News a vignette from another small Tennessee town, Dover, on the other side of the state, near Nashville.

Socrates On Globalization

The most recent IMF report discusses such results of globalization as the increased wealth in all participating countries and all social quintiles, along with a widening of the gap between top and lowest quintiles due largely to the technology transfers which have made skilled, education-dependent work ever more valuable even as profit-seekers shift as many low chores as possible to unskilled, low-paid workers. The theme of the champions of human capital since Adam Smith rings a bell with all teachers: education is the key to personal advancement.

Heavy Thinker
May 21, 2007

Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative DestructionBy Thomas K. McCraw (Harvard University Press, 719 pp., $35) I KNEW Joseph Schumpeter only in the last five years of his life, from 1945 until his death in 1950, at the age of sixty-six. To say that I knew him is actually a bit of an exaggeration. First as a returning undergraduate and then as a doctoral student in economics at Harvard, I attended his courses on advanced economic theory andthe history of economic thought. The theory lectures bordered onincoherent; they alluded to everything but analyzed nothing.

Hardball 101
January 24, 2005

It is getting increasingly difficult to find any Democrat who backs President Bush's plan for partially privatizing Social Security. Private accounts are now officially out of favor even among New Democrats, the most obvious source of potential administration support. The Democratic Leadership Council and a new centrist policy shop called Third Way both recently announced their opposition. Over in the House, many have been eyeing Adam Smith, the leader of the New Democrat Coalition, which has 67 members in the House.

Trade Barrier
July 09, 2001

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An Illusion for our Time
October 20, 1997

This week’s TNR cover story by James Mann deals with the vexing problem that China poses to the community of nations—and to the young Obama administration. Mann observes that, even as China has opened up economically, it has pursued an aggressive foreign policy. Writing in TNR thirteen years ago, Peter Beinart anticipated this situation.