Sunday, May 01, 2011

Adam Smith vs the mercantile class

The last post reminded me of an obligatory Adam Smith quote (if you want to rebuke the faux free market advocates - who think free markets are good for us little people but not for the rich - I know of no saner and more incisive helper than Mr. Smith, who loved the markets but knew their failings well):

In reality high profits tend much more to raise the price of
work than high wages.(...)
Our merchants and master-manufacturers complain much of
the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby
lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad. They say
nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent
with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They
complain only of those of other people.

-Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (chapter IX, last paragraph)

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