Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Wealth of Nations

I am really enjoying the beautiful weather. The snow is almost all gone except for small patches on the ski hills.

I reread (more like re-scanned) Adam Smith's famous book, The Wealth of Nations. It is a fairly aggressive book based on its size with almost 1,000 pages of fairly fine print of which half of it is dedicated to the supply and demand of corn. But it is surprisingly readable and even interesting. And it is the basic textbook of all economics.

Wealth is defined as production capability or what we might call GDP.

I figure with a changing economy, it never hurts to brush up on the basics. We are in a period of sharp changes in supply and demand. It is important for business leaders to try to understand what impact this will have on them and their companies.

One principle that Adam espouses is the division of labour.

He also talks about principals, those are the people that supply the capital that is put to use by the agents (people who apply the capital). His view is that people should not do both, they should do one or the other. It is an interesting thought.

He is very harsh on protectionism (as am I).

I am not going to recommend reading it because the size is too daunting for many people. I am suggesting thinking of the changes in our economy and how to thrive with them.

2 Comments:

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Billy said...

Wealth of Nations is one of my favorites. Brushing up on that one and on Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" really clears the mind and opens the understanding of stewardship.

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger Stuart R. Crawford said...

Hi Jim, we can send you some snow, we got more last night here in Calgary. As for the uncertain economic times - I feel that it is very important for business and especially IT Professionals and VARs to look for Blue Oceans out there. Instead of playing in the competitive market, what can we do differently and bring new value to the marketplace. It is truly no longer about the speeds and feeds of computer systems.

Stuart Crawford
Calgary, AB
http://www.stuartcrawford.com
http://www.weareitpros.ca

 

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