Stop Associating Adam Smith with Laissez-Faire Economics

evonomics.com

By Jag Bhalla

Adam Smith was no fan of greed. And Smith fans who hold selfishness a virtue, distort what he called his best work.

1. “Adam Smith was a behavioral economist,” says Richard Thaler (noted Misbehaving adder of empirical psychology to economics).

2. Smith got famous first for what we’d now call psychology. Edmund Burke called The Theory of Moral Sentiments “fittest to explain those natural movements of the mind with which every Science relating to our Nature” needed (commending Smith’s “illustrations from common Life“).

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