Wealth of Nations

Wealth of Nations

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

Invasive Species, Wealth of Nations, Stepdads, Hostile Bosses

Episode: Invasive Species, Wealth of Nations, Stepdads, Hostile Bosses

  • Mar 4, 2015 10:00 pm
  • 22:50 mins

(51:57) Guest: Grant Madsen, Political Science Professor at BYU  Time now for another episode of “Our American Heritage.” This is the weekly appointment we have with BYU history professor Grant Madsen.  In the same year that Americans declared their Independence, Adam Smith published his massive inquiry into why some nations seemed to be doing better economically than others. Popularly called the Wealth of Nations, Smith provided a thoughtful meditation on the nature of economic growth, its consequences, and why it might make the world a better place.  Smith had more than an economic agenda, though. He also wanted to change politics. Ideally he hoped to bring peace to Europe. Thus, much of his explanation of what we call economics today had to do with social organization and moral reform. In the end, he hoped that free markets might bring people together rather than tear them apart.   “Obviously it’s about wealth,” says Madsen, “but a lot of what he’s writing about is how to find a solution to the perpetual problem of war.”  “If you want to be wealthy, you have to have a division of labor,” says Madsen. “But Smith is saying wealth is not money—it’s not gold, it’s not silver… you’re wealthy as a nation if you produce more stuff.”