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Word Count: 788
Adam Smith is often accused of propounding an economic theory based solely on self-interest and individual welfare however Smiths own writings indicate that this is not the case Smith sees that his ideas surrounding the division of labor will not only benefit the individuals in control of production but society as a whole In Book Three of The Wealth of Nations Smith writes The gains of both are mutual and reciprocal and the division of labor is in this as in all other cases advantageous to all the different persons employed in the various occupations into which it is subdivided All those involved in this division of labor benefit from this system in some way Smith goes on to write that when workers do not receive benefits from their labors the owners of the land or means of production will not see improvement in their stock Therefore it is to everyones benefit for those who work in production to be treated well and given more then simple substance but education and luxury items as well In order for an individual proprietor to be successful he must consider the welfare of his employees and therefore he cannot be focused on himself as some believe Smiths ideas propose While Smith does not focus on the self-interest aspect of economy he does acknowledge that a certain amount of self-interest in inherent to any economy Smith writes 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 However benevolence does spring out from this self-interest Consumers have needs and they are willing to pay to have those needs fulfilled Producers seeking payment supply those needs at a price the consumer is able to pay Another element of Smiths work that shows he was not simply interested in individual welfare was his argument for the abolition of slavery Economically slavery provided a free
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