Sheldon Richman on Adam Smith vs. Crony Capitalism


Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations is a great piece of work. One thing that's particularly refreshing about it, writes Sheldon Richman, is Smith's wariness of business people. This is something we ought to frequently remind market skeptics. Smith knew the difference between being sympathetic to the competitive economy—which he called the "system of natural liberty"—and being sympathetic to owners of capital (who might well have acquired it by less-than-kosher means, that is, through political privilege). Smith knew something about business lobbies, and about the dangers of crony capitalism.