Yesterday #AdamSmith said things work pretty well when people have perfect liberty to choose a trade and where to practice it? In this half of the chapter he specifies the ways people aren’t at perfect liberty, and whose fault it is. (I.x.c.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
And (spoiler) it's government policy’s fault! They restrain competition in some places, increase it in others, and obstruct free movement of labor. (I.x.c.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Many government restraints on competition are “as foolish as can well be imagined.” Like how coachmakers can’t make the wheels for coaches, but wheelmakers can make coaches. (I.x.c.9) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Lots of the rules he objects to have to do with apprenticeships, which may be one reason he’s not a fan of apprenticeship in general. (I.x.c.11) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Your labor belongs to you. It’s unjust for anyone to interfere with your sacred right to work. That doesn’t mean they have to hire you, just that it is a violation if a guild or government forbids someone from working. (I.x.c.12) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Our right to SmithTweet is sacred and inviolable! (I.x.c.12) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Time to complain about apprenticeship again. It’s not even a guarantee of quality work! It doesn’t even make young people industrious! Unnecessary, idle, worthless. How do you really feel Dr. Smith?(I.x.c.13–16) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Working in towns is more profitable, but towns rely on rural areas to keep them going. Trade, for Smith, is always as much about cooperation as competition.(I.x.c.19–26) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Town workers can meet up more easily, so they are more protective of their trades, jealous of their secrets, and try to prevent competition by guilds and agreements when it can’t be outlawed. (I.x.c.22) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Country labor requires a more diverse skill set, and while the workers sound “rustic” they are often heckin’ smarter than the more specialized town workers. (I.x.c.24) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or in some contrivance to raise prices.” (I.x.c.27) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
We’d be mad about that, but in ch 8 he was equally annoyed by masters getting together to drive wages down. The point is everyone wants to make $$. Sometimes they behave badly as a result. (I.x.c.27) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
(This is why humans need all the stuff in Smith’s OTHER book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, as well as all the stuff we’re tweeting about. It takes both pieces to be fully human.) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
It’s a mistake to think we can predict which trades will need workers and try to do artificial things to promote entry into those trades. It just overloads those trades and makes people poor.(I.x.c.33–37) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Before the invention of printing, scholar = beggar. Before the invention of Twitter, SmithTweeter = (I.x.c.38) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Stopping the free circulation of labor is bad for our general prosperity, and it’s inhumane to workers. It forces the poor to stay poor, and impedes their right of exit. (I.x.c.45–57) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
“Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate...between masters & their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters.” Smith is no fool. He knows all about the dangers of aristocracy of pull. (I.x.c.61) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
We're not going to lie to you, Smithketeers. (oh, fine, Smithians.) #AdamSmith is really really bad at dividing up chapters in anything approaching an equal fashion. Chapter 11, coming tomorrow, is going to take almost 2 weeks to tweet. WORTH IT! #DigressionOnSilver

• • •

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

13 Jan
So, sometimes #AdamSmith's #WealthOfNations can feel a bit abstract. Not today! Today we're talking jobs! #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
If a society has perfect liberty and if workers are perfectly free to choose, they will naturally move to the most advantageous forms of employment. Those are some big ifs, but we can be 𝗯𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 at this, if not perfect. (I.x.a.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
There are 5 main factors that affect wages for a given job. (I.x.b.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets

Is it pleasant to do?
Is it quick and cheap to learn?
Are there lots of jobs?
How much respect/trust does it need?
How likely is success?
Read 25 tweets
12 Jan
Today we're gonna talk about profits. They come from stock! #AdamSmith reminds us that stock is any resource paid for in advance when doing business. In general, profits and wages don't move together. (I.ix.1–2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
As stock goes up, there's more of it to employ more workers (by paying them or providing machines for them to work or both). This raises wages! But new stock competes with existing stock, which tends to lower profit. (I.ix.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
If you thought figuring out the average wages of labor was complicated, don't even think about trying to figure out the average profit of stock. Basically impossible. Luckily, the rate of interest tends to vary with the profits of stock. (I.ix.3–4) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 15 tweets
11 Jan
Good morning, Smithketeers! Time for Book One, Chapter 8 of #AdamSmith's #WealthOfNations. Today, we're talking wages. Not that they're a topic with any contemporary relevance, or anything. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
The things we make by working are the natural wage of our labor. Which is great if SmithTweeters want to get paid in SmithTweets. (I.viii.1) #WeDont #TweetsWontBuyHousesByTheSea #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
It’s a state of nature story, like Locke or Hobbes or Rousseau, but Smith’s state of nature is defined by the product of each person’s labor belonging to that person. Sounds great, but again, we don’t want to get paid in SmithTweets. (I.viii.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 23 tweets
10 Jan
We know what you're thinking: Yay! All done with #AdamSmith's theory of prices! Labor and gold, that's where it's at. Right? Ha ha! WRONG! All prices have three components: wages, profit, and rent. Let's tweet about them! ( #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
(Don't panic. Smith still says the real VALUE of all the parts of a price comes down to how much labor they can purchase or command. But today we're only talking about price.) ( #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
So if all we're just hunting/gathering/trading, then all we have to worry about paying for labor (wages). That's where all exchangeable value comes from. But in advanced market societies, there's more going on. ( #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 13 tweets
9 Jan
Wages, profits, and rents have “natural rates” regulated by the general conditions of the society in which they exist. (I.vii.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
When the price of any commodity = price of rent + profit + labor + price of getting it to market, the commodity is sold at its “natural price.” (I.vii.4–5) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
And that all means the commodity has been sold for what it is worth—what it really costs. (I.vii.5) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 18 tweets
8 Jan
OK! Who's ready to talk at great length and in great detail about prices? #AdamSmith, that's who! (I.v) #BuckleUp because this is the first of three chapters Smith prepped us for yesterday. (I.v) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
We're about get into some #LaborTheoryOfValue. (I.v.1–18) We, the SmithTweeters, are firmly on board with the #MarginalRevolution (and we are fans of @MarginalRevolt). But Smith's theory is more complex than is often recognized. #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets #ValueHowDoesItWork
The caricature version of the #LaborTheoryOfValue is that the longer you work on a thing, the more it must be worth. This is obviously wrong, and Smith (and Marx, btw) would agree that it's wrong. (I.v.1–18) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Read 43 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!