What can a man with a plain name who lived over 200 years ago tell us about life today? Who was The Real Adam Smith? And why should we care? In this two-hour, two-part documentary, Swedish author, commentator and Cato Senior Fellow Johan Norberg explores Adam Smiths life, his ideas about morality and economics, and how the concepts he discussed in his books and lectures are still relevant today.
Hour One, Morality & Markets, explores Smiths life and role in the Scottish Enlightenment, his thoughts on empathy and how we distinguish right from wrong. French wine, Scottish whiskey, and freshly-baked scones all illustrate Smiths economic principles. True wealth is defined. We discover Smiths thoughts on the governments role in markets, his distaste for monopolies/crony capitalism in the form of the East India Company, and his thoughts on the American colonies.
Hour Two, Ideas That Changed the World, explores contemporary life and Smiths influences on the very things we see going on today. Why is Smith widely studied now in China? Ethical businesses, like Whole Foods, showcase the morality Smith insisted was critical to thriving markets. Uber and demonstrate that markets can thrive through the organization and self-policing of the participants themselves.