Study Guide

The Wealth of Nations Wealth

By Adam Smith

Wealth

Who'da thunk it: a book called The Wealth of Nations spends a bunch of time talking about wealth.

Smith spends most of this book explaining to us why some countries develop more quickly (and become wealthier) than others. For him, the most successful countries in the world have governments that don't mess with commerce or trade. The more they take their hands off the wheel, the better the economy will do. At least that's Smith's take on things. Ask around today and you'll realize that there's still a bit of disagreement on his concept of the free market.

Questions About Wealth

  1. Do you agree with Adam Smith's argument that free markets always create more wealth? Why or why not?
  2. What type of economic theory is Adam Smith arguing against in this book? Why?
  3. For Smith, which members of society (outside of government) are the biggest obstacles to a good economy? Why?
  4. For Smith, which type of person is the most "productive" member of English society? Why?

Chew on This

In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith proves that free markets always create more long-term prosperity than regulated markets.

The Wealth of Nations makes a ton of false claims about free market economics by cherry-picking all the examples it uses.