The video of my second OLLI talk on Adam Smith, in which I focus on The Wealth of Nations, is here.

A fair number of highlights.

2:45: First sentence of WN is a zinger on the division of labor.

3:24: Pin factory.

4:58: Why division of labor works.

6:58: Propensity to truck, barter, and exchange.

7:58: Dogs don’t trade bones with other dogs.

8:34: We need the cooperation and assistant of great multitudes.

9:34: The most famous quote from WN.

10:20: Smith on mercantilism.

11:58: Wealth does not consist of money.

12:15: Gold and silver are like kitchen utensils.

12:50: Balance of trade.

15:00: Invisible hand.

17:00: George Stigler’s clever remark.

17:50: Smith on industrial policy.

21:00: Smith on protectionism.

23:04: Smith on free trade.

23:44: Producing wine in Scotland.

26:00: Corn laws and Irish famine.

27:49: Retaliatory tariffs and the “chicken tax.”

30:00: Transition costs in move to free trade.

32:05: Smith discovers the Laffer Curve.

35:40: Smith on collusion: what gets left out of quote.

37:00: Electrical equipment conspiracy.

38:27: Inequality. First, in free economy; second and more important, due to government regulation.

42:08: Trickle down on the consumer side.

45:40: Smith on British imperialism.

47:20: Colonies are an economic loser.

48:20: Should Britain give up the colonies voluntarily?

48:50: Who will win the American Revolution? (Someone yelled out “spoiler alert,” but this didn’t make it on to the recording.

49:50: Smith on slavery.

52:05: Smith’s 3 functions of government.

53:28: Smith’s first maxim of taxation.

54:25: Smith on universities.

57:40: Smith on lotteries.

58:40: Smith on deregulation.

Then to Q&A.

59:40: East India Company.

1:01:15: Biden on Ukraine spending on U.S. arms. What would Smith say about Biden’s argument?

1:03:25: Would Smith have favored intervention to establish “orderly markets?”

1:04:15: How did Smith reconcile his Christianity with self-interest?

1:05:00: Smith and national security.

1:05:50: PPE during pandemic.

1:06:20: Should we get rid of tenure?