Tuesday, July 10, 2012


It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labor-which in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people.

Every workman has a great quantity and capacity of his own work to dispose of, beyond what he himself has use for and every other workman being exactly in the same situation, he is enabled to exchange a great quantity of his own goods for a greater quantity, or what comes to the same thing, for a price for a great quantity of theirs. 

He supplies them abundantly with what they have use for and they accommodate him as amply with what he has use for  and they accommodate him as amply with what he has use for.  And a general plenty diffuses itself through all the different land.

Now-observe the accommodation of the most common day laborer in a thriving country and you will see that the number of people of whose industry, has been employed in providing the day laborer this accommodation exceeds all computation.

The woolen coat, which covers the day laborer, as coarse and rough as it may appear, is the produce of the joint labor of a great multitude of workman.  The shepherd, the sorter of the wool, the wool comber, the dyer, the scribbler, the spinner, the weaver, the fuller, the dresser, must all join in their different arts in order to complete even this homely production.

How many merchants and carriers must have been employed in transporting the materials.  How much commerce and navigation, how many ship builders, sailors, sail makers, rope makers, must have been employed in order to bring together the different drugs made use of, by the dyer.  To say nothing of such complicated machines as the ship of the sailor, the mill of the fuller, the loom of the weaver, the shears with which the shepherd clips the wool, the miner, the builder of the furnace, the mill wright, the forger, the smith, must all of them join their different arts in order to produce them.

If we examine all these things, without the assistance of many thousands, the very meanest person could not be provided, even according to what we falsely imagine, the easy and simple manner in which he is commonly accommodated. 

written by Adam Smith and not changed because it's so beautifully written.


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