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Adam Smith: A Man So Amazing That He Could Have Invented Fire

756 words - 4 pages

Adam Smith’s greatest contribution to the field of Economics and non-interventionist policy in general was his theory of the “invisible hand” of the open market. The invisible hand theory states that, when a market is left unhindered by oppressive regulation and everyone operates in their own self-interest, the results will be maximized for all participants (“Invisible Hand.”). This philosophy of economic theory has been the foundation of most modern economic thought and policy.
His most famous work, almost inarguably, is The Wealth of Nations, which he had published in 1776 (“Adam Smith.”). This literary masterpiece explains that, so long as humans act in their own self-interest, ...view middle of the document...

Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year without employment. In the long run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him; but the necessity is not so immediate. (Smith)
This means that the ability for some men to work in their own self interest could easily be hindered when certain other men or organizations amass enough control of a market to dictate the very laws of supply and demand in that market. For example, a mega pharmacy chain would often have much better bargaining power with drug companies than a small pharmacy. If the large chain refuses to sell a drug because a deal cannot be reached, this could severely limit the sales of a manufacturer; whereas, if a small pharmacy wanted a better deal, the manufacturer could easily refuse since the small pharmacy does not have much control of the market. This effect can be noticed in a variety of markets: whenever a monopoly, duopoly, etc. is formed, the simple laws of supply and demand cease to apply when there is only one or few suppliers or purchasers. Smith recognized this and pointed it out in his famous The Wealth of Nations,
“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion,...

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