The Wealth of a Nation

By Pia Varma

So what now? Before you reach for "The Dummies Guide to Getting America Back on Track" let me suggest another book. In fact, it happens to be the same book the Founding Fathers used when they were laying the foundation for this country. It’s called An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, now simply referred to as The Wealth of Nations.

Enter Adam Smith: eccentric, reclusive and absent-minded. He never married, he lived with his mother and he often talked to himself. Yet he emerged as one of the leading intellectual heavyweights of the Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment. In fact, many call him the father of modern day economics.

In 1776, Smith published The Wealth of Nations, introducing the world to a brand new concept: Free Market Economics. That same year, across the pond, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams and others were planning a revolution that would lead to the formation of what would become the wealthiest nation, a nation based entirely around Smith’s free market principles. But this wasn’t a coincidence.

The Scottish-born Smith had a profound influence on the Founding Fathers. Benjamin Franklin was his personal friend and James Madison was a big fan. Alexander Hamilton borrowed heavily from Smith in his own magnus opus, Report on Manufactures, and there are numerous references to Smith in the letters of Thomas Jefferson. Incredibly, George Washington’s signature was actually found in a 1789 edition of The Wealth of Nations.

Although Smith, himself, never ventured to the American colonies, there is no doubt that his ideas were being bounced around by these men over beers in Philadelphia’s City Tavern or in the debates at Constitution Hall.

But where did Smith’s ideas come from and what were they?

The forces that brought the ideas of Adam Smith to the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia had been set in motion centuries earlier, since the 14th Century re-emergence of Democracy and Republicanism in Italy. The simple concept that an individual could find truth without the aid of God and the Holy Roman Church had empowered the people of Europe, pulling them out of the Dark Ages and kick-starting a vibrant Renaissance.

Hungry for more knowledge, man leaped from one step of human pro-gress to another; the Renaissance became the Elizabethan Era, the Elizabethan Era was followed by the Age of Reason and the Age of Reason became the Age of Enlightenment. By the time the Age of Enlightenment rolled around, classical liberal ideas were in full force. New concepts such as inalienable rights and the acknowledgement of slavery’s immorality were being discussed in coffee houses and political salons across England, Scotland and America. Passions ran wild, and political activism was at its height. English author Thomas Paine had emigrated to the American colonies and was arguing for the rights of man. Edmund Burke and the radical Whigs in England were fighting against the abuses of King George III, just like their counterparts and allies in the American colonies.

By 1776, the stage was set for Adam Smith to introduce his free market ideas. The Wealth of Nations became an instant success, shattering the status quo and throwing a wrench into the power structure. Word about The Wealth of Nations travelled quickly from Scotland to England and throughout Europe, making its way across the Atlantic to the American colonies. The first edition was sold out in six months.

But what were these ideas that shook up the world? Essentially, Smith regarded Man as a rational being who, by acting in his own self-interest, would work to move society forward: "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." In the same way, the Founders emphasized the individual’s right to his own life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Jefferson promised in his first inaugural address that the U.S. government "shall leave [its citizens] otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned."

Smith wanted to find the right institutional framework that would turn his vision of a society where individuals traded freely into a reality. This framework became a Constitutional Republic, where laws protecting inalienable rights reigned supreme and no majority could vote those rights away. Both Smith and the Founders believed that this framework of laws would best enable individuals to "truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another," without interference from the state. The view of the world suggested in The Wealth of Nations is that monopoly power can’t exist without assistance of government.

Smith based his arguments on a very simple idea, that there exists an invisible hand guiding the economic development of society, and this invisible hand functions best when left alone. This invisible hand is made up of all productive members of society, and naturally spreads wealth and increases quality of life. When a government attempts to engineer markets with regulations, subsidies, protectionist policies, sanctions, special licenses, tariffs, taxes and stifling programs, it will always lead to unintended consequences. The Founders took note of this and made specific provisions and clauses in the Constitution, preventing the state from interfering in interstate commerce and promoting the general welfare of the people. They, too, under-stood that the economic system that provided the greatest good for the greatest number of people was the free market system.

At the time, this was an extremely revolutionary idea. Before Smith came along, nation-states had been laboring under a mercantilist system, believing that there was a finite amount of wealth in the world, which must be gobbled up as quickly as possible. In their view, life was a zero sum game; only winners and losers. Spain, England, Portugal, France and others were in constant competition. Wars were waged and marriages and other alliances were formed in this quest for power, dominance and wealth. The primary goal was to have a favorable balance of trade; exports greater than imports, with the difference being settled in gold or IOUs. To a mercantilist, wealth equaled gold and a favorable balance of trade meant more gold.

Smith stated that it is incorrect to think that the wealth of a nation depends upon its holdings of precious metals. Rather than Spain and England competing with each other to grab up resources, it would be in each of the countries’ best interests for them to both be thriving nations. It would mean more customers for their goods and services. Nations could trade with one another and everyone would win. The Founders adopted this worldview and made it the bedrock of U.S. foreign policy.

Smith called this concept Absolute Advantage. He argued that if England can produce a commodity such as cotton at a lower cost than Spain, and if Spain could produce another commodity, such as grain, at a lower cost than England, then each country should stick to doing what it does best and trade; costs go down and quality goes up.

But the idea of Absolute Advantage is not limited to the foreign trade. It also applies to trade within a country. Smith explained that a major contributing factor to the wealth of a nation was the productivity of labor. He went on to say that productivity of labor depended on the division of labor. In the same way that nation-states should stick to doing what they do best, so, too, should individuals specialize in a skill or craft and trade with one another. As labor becomes more divided and specialized, productivity increases and costs go down. The Founders implemented a system of government that enabled individuals to fill needs in the market and contribute to the wealth of the nation.

But, today, America is at a crossroads, choosing between the free market system advocated by Adam Smith and the Founding Fathers and mercantilist policies that dominated the world for centuries. In many ways, Americans still hold on to mercantilist ideas. Our leaders desperately try to protect domestic industries with tariffs, subsidies and other protectionist policies, hoping it will maintain our status as a world leader. They have been on a mission to create shovel-ready jobs for the hundreds of thousands of people who are out of work as opposed to allowing the invisible hand of the market to determine labor needs.

It’s unclear which direction America will take in the future. But the simple reality is that the Founding Fathers adopted the ideas in The Wealth of Nations when they laid the foundation for America, and the United States of America went on to become the wealthiest nation.

You can’t really argue with results.

 



<< Return to the September 2010

The Biden administration has weaponized the federal government against the American people. But officials have hidden most of their attacks behind a secretive and cavernous bureaucracy.

There are so many unsolved mysteries that Joe Biden and the Democrats not only refuse to answer, but in some cases appear as though they are ACTIVELY trying to cover up. Like what happened on January 6? Who is Ray Epps? Who planted the pipe bombs? What’s in Biden’s executive order on elections? What happened to the SCOTUS Dobbs leaker? What’s the COVID origin story? What’s happening with crypto, FTX, and the Central Bank Digital Currency?

These are just a few of the unsolved mysteries that we need to DEMAND answers on. On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck outlines a chalkboard that will leave you convinced the DOJ and FBI are LYING to the American people. The more secrets the Deep State holds, the more its power over us grows.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below:

Unsolved Mysteries: 7 Deep-State SECRETS Biden Wants Buried | Glenn TV | Ep 238

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'I NEVER thought I'd talk about this': Was Glenn Beck's CHILLING dream actually a WARNING?

(Left) Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images/(Right) Video screenshot

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck decided to share a very unusual, extremely vivid dream he had ten years ago — a dream he thought he'd never talk about on the air until he began to see it as a warning that we should all know about.

"I never ever thought I would talk about this on the air, but I feel compelled to tell you that seasons have changed again, and it is becoming more and more apparent. You need to know what you're dealing with," Glenn began.

"If you are a long-time listener of this program, you know that one of the reasons I left New York ... was that I had a medical condition. Part of it was brought on by no REM sleep for about 10 years ... and for 10 years, I never had a dream," he explained. "However, during this period I had what could be described as a dream. I do not believe it was."

"In this 'dream' ... I am in a hallway of the White House. And I'm walking into a big room where there's a bunch of cubicles, and people look up like, 'who's walking in?' There are people behind me, but I don't know who they are yet. I just know I'm being pushed forward by them," Glenn continued. "I realize that everybody in the White House is terrified of who's ever behind me ... I glance back and I see people that are in uniforms that I've never seen before. I have seen them since, but that will be for some other time...."

"So, these guys in the uniforms are in the hallway, and one guy says, 'him, him, and him, take them out' ... and I'm the only one still sitting at the table. They go out ... then I hear three gunshots and they say, 'yeah, that happened pretty quickly for them. However, you, we're going to get to know ... because you really have no idea who you're dealing with.' And that's when one of them ... ripped off his face and he was Satan. Or, he was a demon, okay? Horrifying. Then I wake up."

Glenn went on to explain that, while the dream was so vivid and disturbing that he thought about it almost daily for well over a year, it was what happened next — during a discussion with a prominent religious leader — that really hinted his "dream" might actually have been a vision of the future and a warning.

"I will never forget it, and I will never dismiss it," Glenn said of what he learned. "I'm sharing it with you today because you must not dismiss what you're dealing with. We are not in a battle [of] politics ... our whole culture has become evil."

"You have to get to a point where you are going to choose a side. There will be no one left on the benches, and if you think you can sit it out you will end up on the wrong side. I urge you to know who you serve. This is a different time in human experience. This is not normal. None of this is normal," he warned.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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'The Fedcoin is HERE': Glenn Beck reveals what the Fed was up to while YOU weren’t watching

Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While Americans were preparing for Thanksgiving last Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Reserve moved forward with its "Central Bank Digital Currency" program, and that wasn't the only controversial policy that was rolled out while you weren’t watching.

On the radio program, Glenn Beck reviewed the latest financial stories you may have missed over the holiday weekend, including how Biden's pause on student loan payments may be extended again and yet another sketchy Hunter Biden investment.

"You might have missed what happened Wednesday afternoon at the Fed," Glenn began. "They started their CBDC, Central Bank Digital Currency. Yes, the Fedcoin is here. Now they rolled it out on Wednesday — I mean, that was the only day they could do it, you know, because they've been denying that any of this stuff was happening. But they could only get it [launched] when no one was paying attention. So they rolled it out, and it's in its beta test now."

"By the way, India just rolled out its retail pilot program for digital rupees as well. But don't worry," he continued. "Maybe we should start having the conversation of, 'Gosh, this looks like the mark of the beast.' I mean, doesn't it? But surely it's not. Of course not. Not from the U.S. government. They never do anything underhanded or evil. Never."

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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BIGGER than Tiananmen Square? Here's what the China protests are REALLY about

(Left) Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images/ (Right) Video screenshot

China has been locking its citizens down for over two years under its zero-COVID policy, and it's becoming more and more clear that this isn’t just about COVID but something much more serious: slavery and control. Now it looks like many citizens have had enough. Protests are currently spreading throughout China and, unlike during the Tiananmen Square protests, the word is getting out.

On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck looked into the protests' "real motivations," explained how they’re different from the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square, and predicted how these events are a "game-changer for the entire world."

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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