James Otteson channels economist Adam Smith

1.28.2015 Article, Capitalism, Faculty News, General

BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism executive director and teaching professor James Otteson gave a talk on January 21st, based on his new book “What Adam Smith Knew: Moral Lessons on Capitalism from its Greatest Champions and Fiercest Opponents” to the Harvard Club of New York.

Parts of his talk were featured in a January 27th Free Exchange blog post in The Economist.

Mr Otteson was kind enough to channel Mr Smith in response by citing a string of illuminating passages. It is no surprise that the man who coined the term “invisible hand” would be no fan of overt government intervention. His dissent could be split into three intertwined categories: the temptation of governments to meddle at long-term cost to society; the dangers of paper money; and how the issues of debt and money shift wealth from the future to the present. That, he thought, constitutes a form of generational theft.

Read the full story in The Economist.