A Comparison of the Economic Philosophies of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx

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As far back as man has been on earth, he has been driven towards building a community among his peers. Whether that is a community of hunters and gatherers who share whatever the day has brought to them within their tribe, or a larger community which within its structure lie the inner dwellings of division of labor and societal classes. Adam Smith (18th Century), John Stuart Mill (19th Century), and Karl Marx (19th Century) are of the same cloth, but in modern terms their community is referenced as a government, and they each have their own distinct opinions on the 'drive' instilled within human nature that shape their personal economic theories. I will be dissecting the views of each of these economists, in regards to the role of…show more content…
In Smith's government, banking would be regulated and the government would provide public goods, such as highways, canals, lights and sewage systems. All of which would contribute to the public hygiene and overall maintenance of the state, and cities. It is safe to say that Adam Smith would, in today's world, be labeled as a socialist, with his heavy reliance on government funded aid and services. An important aspect of Smith's views, were taxes. In one of Smith's many opinions regarding human nature, he explains that the rich, once placed in a position of power, maintain that power through their dealings within a civil government which employs men of inferior wealth, to protect the wealthy lands of the rich. In layman’s terms a community with the bare minimum has little violence since there is nothing to fight over, but one with plush property and wealth, has a plethora of people fighting over one another. This is where Smith's views of taxes comes into play. In his world, the government would impose taxation, with the intentions of discouraging improper or luxurious behavior which he believed did not benefit society as a whole. (Smith, pp.18-20) When discussing human nature in the sociological spectrum, Smith likens humans to animals, or dogs in particular. The typical reliance of animals, once they're matured,on no one but themselves (becoming independents), is a characteristic that humans do not follow. I believe Smith's

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