Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Michael Lind interviews Adam Smith

Smith's "answers" to Lind's questions are direct quotes from The Wealth of Nations.

The minimum wage in the United States today is far below what it was a few decades ago, thanks to inflation. At the same time, in the last generation wages have stagnated while roughly half of the gains from economic growth have gone to a tiny number of rich Americans. Many conservative economists and business executives argue that companies cannot afford high wages for ordinary workers. Aren't high salaries and bonuses costs as well?

Our merchants and master manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.

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