Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Why "The Wealth of Nations" isn't required reading in schools

Evidently, one of the key points made by Adam Smith, according to National Review, is that the wealth of nations has something to do with the institution of marriage and how many children are born. Obviously, we can't be promoting real marriage and real family over the imitations--at least not in the government schools. However, it looks like I ought to buckle down and finally get myself a copy of Smith's magnum opus.

H/T Brothers Bayly.


pentamom said...

The real reason, as I understand it, is that it's tremendously long and turgid and spends acres of print on contemporary matters that have little current relevance. That is, a general understanding of his complaints against mercantilism is useful. The degree of detail he goes into on specific contemporary situations is not.

OTOH, PJ O'Rourke to the rescue:


I don't recall definitely from reading it a year or so ago whether it touches on the marriage/children connection, though.

Bike Bubba said...

Good point, but given the reverence and anger incited by Smith's work, I think we ought to slog through it the same way we did Homer's Iliad, no?

And I'd have to suggest that even contemporary issues (such as Bastiat addresses in his commentaries as well) draw a picture sometimes better than the actual syllogisms used by the author.