20 Facts About A Smith


Two months before A Smith was born, his father died, leaving his mother a widow.

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Unlike A Smith, Hutcheson was not a system builder; rather, his magnetic personality and method of lecturing so influenced his students and caused the greatest of those to reverentially refer to him as "the never to be forgotten Hutcheson"—a title that A Smith in all his correspondence used to describe only two people, his good friend David Hume and influential mentor Francis Hutcheson.

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In 1750, A Smith met the philosopher David Hume, who was his senior by more than a decade.

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In 1751, A Smith earned a professorship at Glasgow University teaching logic courses, and in 1752, he was elected a member of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh, having been introduced to the society by Lord Kames.

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For example, A Smith lectured that the cause of increase in national wealth is labour, rather than the nation's quantity of gold or silver, which is the basis for mercantilism, the economic theory that dominated Western European economic policies at the time.

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In 1778, A Smith was appointed to a post as commissioner of customs in Scotland and went to live with his mother in Panmure House in Edinburgh's Canongate.

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On his deathbed, A Smith expressed disappointment that he had not achieved more.

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The best-known portraits of A Smith are the profile by James Tassie and two etchings by John Kay.

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Anglo-American economist Ronald Coase has challenged the view that A Smith was a deist, based on the fact that A Smith's writings never explicitly invoke God as an explanation of the harmonies of the natural or the human worlds.

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Brendan Long argues that A Smith was a theist, whereas according to professor Gavin Kennedy, A Smith was "in some sense" a Christian.

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In 1759, A Smith published his first work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, sold by co-publishers Andrew Millar of London and Alexander Kincaid of Edinburgh.

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Bust of A Smith is in the Hall of Heroes of the National Wallace Monument in Stirling.

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Former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan argues that, while A Smith did not coin the term laissez-faire, "it was left to Adam A Smith to identify the more-general set of principles that brought conceptual clarity to the seeming chaos of market transactions".

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Herbert Stein wrote that the people who "wear an Adam A Smith necktie" do it to "make a statement of their devotion to the idea of free markets and limited government", and that this misrepresents A Smith's ideas.

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Similarly, Vivienne Brown stated in The Economic Journal that in the 20th-century United States, Reaganomics supporters, The Wall Street Journal, and other similar sources have spread among the general public a partial and misleading vision of A Smith, portraying him as an "extreme dogmatic defender of laissez-faire capitalism and supply-side economics".

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Some commentators have argued that A Smith's works show support for a progressive, not flat, income tax and that he specifically named taxes that he thought should be required by the state, among them luxury-goods taxes and tax on rent.

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Yet A Smith argued for the "impossibility of taxing the people, in proportion to their economic revenue, by any capitation".

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Additionally, A Smith outlined the proper expenses of the government in The Wealth of Nations, Book V, Ch.

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Some have claimed, Emma Rothschild among them, that A Smith would have supported a minimum wage, although no direct textual evidence supports the claim.

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However, A Smith noted, to the contrary, the existence of an imbalanced, inequality of bargaining power:.

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