“Greed” is not the basis of economics

While chatting with a friend yesterday, he told me that his teacher started off his macroeconomics class by stating (and I’m paraphrasing what my friend said, of course), “Economies run on greed.”

Has no one devoted serious study to the study of Adam Smith’s thought*, excluding Russ Roberts, Vernon Smith (ungated copy here), Jonathan Wright, Gavin Kennedy, . . .

* I realize that the greed accusation is not directly aimed at Adam Smith. However, I have noticed that the same people who make that accusation also believe that Smith was implying some form of ethical egoism when he wrote “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” (Wealth of Nations I.2.2).


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