The Wealth Of Nations By Adam Smith

1774 Words8 Pages
Adam Smith’s masterpiece writing, The Wealth of Nations, attempts to create a different understanding of the economy from his age. The focus mainly remains on mercantilism the most prevalent economic system for Western Society at this time. Smith’s simple and in-depth explanations of even the most basic economic concepts allow for someone with little to no prior knowledge of economics to easily grasp his meaning, and coupling these explanations with real life examples provides even more teaching power to Smith’s words. The text is split up between five different books of varying length covering the division of labor, capital, the progress of opulence, the mercantile system, and the role of government.
The first book of The Wealth of Nations begins with discussions on the division of labor, which Smith considers to be “the greatest improvements” for the productivity of labor. To illustrate his point, Smith gives an example of the pin-making industry as a case where division of labor does not just increase productivity proportionally to how much the tasks have been split, but exponentially. Smith explains that, a singular pin-maker unknowledgable of most tasks required in pin-making could not make more than twenty pins in one day; whereas, ten pin-makers each taking over some portion of the process can make upwards of 48,000 pins in one day. In the same way that the division of labor applies to pin-making so too does it apply to all industries. Smith goes on to give three
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