Book Review: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

Smith, Adam
4 stars = Really Good

The Wealth of Nations, written by Adam Smith, is the precursor to modern economics as we know it. Smith delves into seemingly everything, from why taxes on gold are less than silver (the answer: because gold, unlike silver, is easily refineable and is far more valuable per ounce. if a high tax on gold were to occur people would have an incentive simply to hide the gold which would be easy because it is smaller to hide/can be hid in a purer form) to how specialization gives way to most profit (for example, 10 men each creating their own pins would be far less efficient that 10 men creating the same pin. Creating the same pin could be divided into smaller tasks, with one person primary repeating one task. This would allow for far more efficiency than individuals doing all the parts of pin making - cutting the wire, flattening the head, attaching the head, sharpening the head, etc - by themselves. The only reason I gave it a four was because of the difficulty I had reading it. When reading, I needed to stop and use the dictionary almost every page because I did not know words. I would definitely not recommend this for a reader looking for a leisurely read. It was anything but.

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