#WealthOfNations I.ii is all about the secret sauce origin story: why does the division of labor happen in the first place? #AdamSmith illustrates (in part) with doggos to hold our attention. (I.ii.2,5) 🐶 #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets #DoggosDontTrade
Divsion of labor, Smith said yesterday, is responsible for a whole heckuva lot. But who thought of it? Nobody! It's "not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion." (I.ii.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
There's no mastermind behind economic exchange, our "propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another" (I.ii.1) arises out of our natural tendency to persuade one another and better our condition. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Yeah, there's a lot in that first paragraph. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
You know what's coming, right? 🍖🍻🍞 Butchers, brewers, bakers: they don't make us things because they love us. They're not our moms. (I.ii.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Instead, we persuade them (with money! 💰💰💰) that it's best for them to provide what we want. Everybody wins! (I.ii.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
This may sound cynical, but this kind of cooperation is all we've got, says Smith. The world's not made of moms. We have to connect to others by division of labor. (I.ii.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
In "civilized"—economically developed—society, we can't be atomistic. Development only happens with division of labor, and division of labor puts us "at all times in need of the co-operation and assistance of great multitudes." (I.ii.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Of course, our interdependence means that we each hold a kind of power over each other. That leaves us vulnerable if the system collapses. So we'd better hope that the market system is heckin' robust. (I.ii.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
We are so dependent on one another and our ability to persuade each other to help us through the market, rather than through personal appeals, that even a beggar can't rely entirely on the kindness of others. (I.ii.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets #WeAreAllConnected
Beggars might depend on the kindness of strangers to get money, but then they have to spend it to get the things they need. They use the market, just like the rest of us. (I.ii.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
OK, apparently the second paragraph is a doozey, too. (I.ii.2) That's just how this book rolls. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
All well and good, you're probably thinking by now, but I was promised dogs. WHERE ARE THE DOGS? Well, they're not trading with each other, we can tell you that much. 🐶🙅‍♀️💰 (I.ii.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets #DoggosDontTrade
This matters a lot! Dogs can make frens at the park, but otherwise they are useless to each other, no matter how different their skills are. But people are more useful to each other the more different we become! (I.ii.5) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets #DoggosDontTrade
Here's Smith at his best: What makes us different from each other? Basically, the division of labor. Not our family, our wealth, our nation, or our power. We're born equal, and our habits, customs, and education determine where we end up. (I.ii.4) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
So markets and the division of labor emerge because we get good at stuff and help each other out. Division of labor makes us more different from one another. Markets make those differences the basis for cooperation. (I.ii.1–5) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Tomorrow, one of @Econtalker 's favorite sections of #WealthOfNations. Stay tuned, Smithketeers! We'll see you then!

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with @AdamSmithWorks

@AdamSmithWorks Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @adamsmithworks

7 Jan
#DivisionOfLAbor, we love it! Except it *does* make it a lot harder to provide for our own wants directly. We live by exchanging and cooperating with others. (I.iv.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
#AdamSmith is too smart to think all this exchanging and cooperating got worked out easily from the very beginning. There must have been bumps in the road. (I.iv.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Butchers could have so much meat to trade with bakers/brewers that they could end up with an unusable surplus of bread/beer. That stalls trade. Smart people would work to have a supply of an always-useful trade item on hand. (I.iv.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 15 tweets
6 Jan
Today we come to the topic @EconTalker has called one of the more underemphasized lessons from #AdamSmith: That the Division of Labor is limited by the Extent of the Market. a.k.a Book 1 Chapter 3. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
We love ya, Smith, but we see why people don't dwell on this chapter. Unless they are really into the navigable waterways of the late 18th century. (I.iii.3–8) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets #RiverEnthusiastsRejoice Image
The first two paragraphs of this chapter are the meatiest. Then things get a little...#WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 15 tweets
4 Jan
We have to pause now, because we have to have a whole new tweet thread on #AdamSmith and “savage nations,” because he’s going to keep using this kind of phrase, so we need to talk about it. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Please know that your friendly SmithTweeters give heavy side-eye to Smith’s use of phrases like “savage nations” and “naked savages” and so on. They are obviously shocking to the modern ear, and they should be. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
“Well, it’s the 18th century, what do you expect?” just isn't a sufficient explanation. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 10 tweets
4 Jan
Here we go! Tweeting our way through #WealthOfNations! It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so be sure to stretch, stay hydrated, and keep a steady pace. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
That’s one heck of a first sentence, Dr. Smith. No dithering here. The division of labor is the secret sauce that increases productivity. (I.i.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
We always forget the pin factory comes this early and that Smith looks at it not because pins are important (though they are!) but because it’s a small industry that you can look at all at once.(I.i.3) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 12 tweets
1 Jan
Happy New Year! On Monday, we start tweeting about #AdamSmith 's whole #WealthOfNations at the rate of about a chapter a day! Don’t miss it! #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Today, we’re looking at “The Introduction and Plan of the Work” because although it is New Year’s Day, we, the SmithTweeters, are still Very Serious Smith Scholars. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
TFW you start reading “The Introduction and Plan of the Work” and realize that elevator speeches were invented before elevators. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 9 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!