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Dedicated to the works and world of Adam Smith.
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Mar 9, 2021 14 tweets 9 min read
If we were classy and organized like our friends @AdamSmithHouse, we'd have made you something really elegant today to celebrate the 245th anniversary of the publication of the #WealthOfNations.
#WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Or we'd at least have tried a little harder to swipe their first edition of the #WealthOfNations.

(Just kidding, of course. Please still let us come visit when we're all allowed to travel again! We promise to be good!)
#WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Mar 8, 2021 10 tweets 6 min read
So, why the heck would anyone want to do something like #WealthOfTweets anyway?--A thread on Smith and Cancel Culture
1/10
@JonahDispatch @robbysoave @jmhorp @kmanguward @jtlevy @bartwilson @PeterBoettke We wanted to create #WealthOfTweets mostly because we thought it would be a fun way to get a conversation on Smith happening and to drive traffic to adamsmithworks.org. (Give us a click and a share if you haven't lately!) 2/10
Mar 8, 2021 34 tweets 20 min read
Yesterday we were excited but today we're feeling a little misty-eyed, to tell you the truth. 🥺🥺🥺 We'll be wrapping up #AdamSmith's #WealthOfNations with the end of Book V, Chapter 3, on public debts. (V.iii.47–92) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Also yesterday: Smith laid out the situation of European (and especially British) government debt. It seemed bad!
But not everyone thought so! Some people argued that debt effectively adds to a country's capital.
Nah, says Smith. (V.iii.47–51) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Mar 7, 2021 24 tweets 14 min read
Can it really be...the last chapter of #AdamSmith's #WealthOfNations?

Were we geographically proximate, we'd pinch each other. We must be dreaming! (V.iii.) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets This chapter is on government financing through debt. That sounds like a bit of a slog, but it's not so bad if you think of it as 40 pages of low-key (sometimes not so low-key) #SmithSnark. (V.iii.) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Mar 6, 2021 19 tweets 13 min read
Today we will finally conclude #AdamSmith's thoughts on consumption taxes in #WealthOfNations.
You may be inclined not to believe us at this point, and we, the SmithTweeters, couldn't exactly blame you. But it's true! (V.ii.k.) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets In fact, today will conclude all of Smith's thoughts on taxes, which we began discussing long ago, in days of yore. (V.ii.) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Mar 5, 2021 26 tweets 15 min read
Welcome back to consumption taxes! #AdamSmith has still got a lot to say on this in #WealthOfNations. Let's jump right back in. (V.ii.k.) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Exise duties are a tax that falls mostly on goods produced at home for consumption at home—generally a few goods that are widely used.
These are mostly luxuries, except for the salt, leather, soap, candles thing.

And green glass. (V.ii.k.19) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Mar 4, 2021 22 tweets 14 min read
#AdamSmith! #WealthOfNations! #Taxes! He's still going!
Today, at long last, we come to
consumption taxes!

We, the SmithTweeters, realize we've really built this up. (V.ii.k) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets But! There's a lot of good stuff in here! So once more into the breach, dear Smithketeers...

Smith divides consumable commodities into necessaries and luxuries. (V.ii.k.2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Mar 3, 2021 24 tweets 16 min read
#AdamSmith, #WealthOfNations, and #Taxes. There's a lot here. Will it ever end? The only way to find out is to keep reading!
Today: taxes on wages and head taxes. (V.ii.i–j) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Spoiler alert: #AdamSmith did not like "absurd and destructive" taxes on wages.
[We, the SmithTweeters, are taxed not on our wages, but per tweet. Still waiting for Smith to get to tweet taxes.] (V.ii.i) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Mar 2, 2021 22 tweets 14 min read
Having said what he had to say about taxes on rent and profits, #AdamSmith pauses, now, for an appendix to handle the taxation of the land and stock that generate rent and profit. (V.ii.h) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Dear readers, we hope you are tax nerds. (We still and forever ❤ you, nerds.) @TurboTax @IRSnews @HRBlock (V.ii.h) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Mar 1, 2021 28 tweets 16 min read
#AdamSmith's thoughts on taxation: They are numerous, and outlined in detail in #WealthOfNations. Today we'll be looking at taxes on profit! (V.ii.f–g) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Smith starts out by reminding us that profits are divided into the part that pays the interest and the part over and above that which pays the interest.

You can't tax the over-and-above part directly. (V.ii.f.1–2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 28, 2021 22 tweets 13 min read
Ready for more of #AdamSmith's thoughts on taxes from #WealthOfNations? Sure you are! (V.ii.e–h) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Taxes upon rent can also fall upon the rent of houses! House rent isn't like regular land-rent, though. It's split into two parts: the building-rent and the ground-rent. (V.ii.e.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 27, 2021 27 tweets 17 min read
It's here! It's finally here! The (first) day #AdamSmith talks about taxes in #WealthOfNations!

We're assuming there's a group for whom this is exciting. We, the SmithTweeters, may not count ourselves among them. But let's go anyway! (V.ii.b) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Remember how Smith divided private revenue into rent, profit, and wages in the first book? Now he's gonna divide up taxes. Smith loves a good subdivision. Taxes can fall on:
1) Rent
2) Profits
3) Wages
4) All three indifferently. (V.ii.b.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 26, 2021 17 tweets 11 min read
Now you know all the things #AdamSmith has to say about what the government should spend money on. But that money's gotta come from somewhere. What does #WealthOfNations say about how governments should get money to spend? (V.ii.) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets I know the tax nerds have been waiting for this chapter (we ❤ you, nerds), but first Smith wants to talk about other sources of revenue "which may peculiarly belong to the Sovereign or Commonwealth". (V.ii.a) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 25, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
Sovereigns are fancy, and they need revenue to support their fanciness. This is the entirety of part four of this chapter. (V.i.h.1–3) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets In conclusion, all these expenses in Book V Chapter 1—defense, justice, public works, education, religion, fancy sovereigns—are for the benefit of society as a whole so society should help pay for them. (V.i.i.1–6) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 24, 2021 33 tweets 21 min read
#AdamSmith isn’t just interested in educating kids. He knows we need #LifeLongLearning and #AdultEducation.
He doesn't mean university courses for adults, but rather “preparation for a better world to come.” (He means church.) (V.i.g.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets So we need to know how to best fund the clergy who provide this kind of education. Direct payments from their hearers? Tax? Tithe? Salary? (V.i.g.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 23, 2021 32 tweets 19 min read
Ah, #AdamSmith on education. Something to aggravate every. single. reader. Let’s go! (V.i.f) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Providing educational institutions is part of the duty of the sovereign, but those institutions can be made to produce some of the money needed to maintain them. We naturally do that already, because we pay teachers and endow colleges. (V.i.f.1–2)#WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 22, 2021 36 tweets 21 min read
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ROADS?
Yes, #adasmSmith says sovereigns should also maintain public institutions and public works that are good for society but that people won’t pay for on their own. (V.i.c.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets And yes, this category of expenses includes education, about which more later. We promise. (V.i.c.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 21, 2021 34 tweets 21 min read
Yesterday #AdamSmith outlined the first duty of the sovereign—protecting the nation from attack. The second duty of the sovereign is protecting individuals from each other aka administering justice. (V.i.b.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Just as defense gets more complicated and expensive as societies develop, so does the process of administering justice. (V.i.b.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 20, 2021 27 tweets 16 min read
Today we start the last book of #AdamSmith's #WealthOfNations.

Allons-y!

#WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets Book Five of #WealthOfNations is all about the duties of the sovereign and how to pay for them. In this first part of chapter 1, we’re talking about the cost of defense. (V.i.a) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 19, 2021 38 tweets 21 min read
Remember how #AdamSmith was going to explain the Mercantile and Agricultural systems? After 230 pages on the Mercantile system it’s finally time for the Agricultural! ...which gets 25 pages. (IV.ix) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets He’s got a pretty good reason for keeping this brief: A national political economy based entirely on agriculture has never existed except in the minds of French philosophers. Why spend a lot of time on it? (IV.ix.1–2) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets
Feb 18, 2021 26 tweets 15 min read
We made it, everyone! It's the conclusion of the discussion of the mercantile system! (IV.viii.) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets The mercantile system tries to maintain the “balance of trade” by encouraging exports and discouraging imports. Counterintuively, sometimes that's done by encouraging imports. (IV.viii.1) #WealthOfTweets #SmithTweets