How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

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Adam Smith

How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

by: Russ Roberts

Central Theme:
Be honest, virtuous, and wise. If you commit to these values, you will not only improve your own life, but you will have a profound influence on the people in your life – and ultimately, society as a whole.

Recommendation:
“How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life” succinctly details how to best utilize Adam Smith’s teachings to improve your life.

Summary:
“The Wealth of Nations” is a profoundly influential work in the study of economics and examines how nations become wealthy. Adam Smith advocates that by allowing individuals to freely pursue their own self-interest in a free market, without government regulation, nations will prosper. Russ Roberts, the founder and host of EconTalk, is a big fan of Adam Smith’s teachings. He also likes to defend Adam Smith against others who believe his teachings encourage selfishness and behavior lacking in virtue. Russ lays out a three-step plan: first, be prudent; look after yourself and avoid risky behavior. Second, act virtuously – do not harm others especially out of self-interest. Here, he details how Warren Buffett has lived a fulfilling life while Bernie Madoff likely lived out in an extremely unhappy fashion. Thirdly, Russ advises us to act benevolently and do whatever we can to help others and do good.

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