Thursday 13 October 2005

Adam Smith

Today's Scotsman contains a letter from Ellis Thorpe replying to an earlier one from Professor Gavin Kennedy:
Although no-one is suggesting the specific economic policies of the Reagan and Thatcher governments can be found in a classical text of the late 18th century, can it be denied that the drive to restore free market, nationally and internationally, to deregulate capital, labour and financial markets, to roll back the state, to privatise, cut public expenditure and taxes, is not justified by reference to Adam Smith?
I can only agree. Surely there is some link between the ideas of Adam Smith and the policies of Mr Reagan and Mrs Thatcher. That's not to say that those two leaders were fully consistent Smithites or that I agree with Mr Thorpe's apparent Marxism.

Professor Kennedy on the other hand is correct to criticise those students at Adam Smith College whose decision has made them an international laughing stock.

Now if the "Jennie Lee Students' Association" had based their objection to Adam Smith on this argument:

Adam Smith, contrary to general belief, was not the founder of modern economics. His defense of a labor theory of value, modified and continued by his Ricardian successors, shunted economics onto the wrong path,
thus leading to Marx's economics, I would have been highly impressed.

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