Adam Smith believes that the division of labor and specialization enables people to become adept at their job and therefore more productive. It is important to remember that Smith wrote before manufacturing was as automated as it is today. He writes:
The division of labour, however, so far as it can be introduced, occasions, in every art, a proportionable increase of the productive powers of labour.
When people are jacks of all trades and masters of none, they cannot produce as much as if they specialize. This is because in specializing, they learn how to do their specific part of the job quickly and well. Smith's reasoning calls to mind an assembly line pattern where each step in the process provides added value to the production of the final product.
Moreover, if the worker does not specialize, he or she does not learn how to use whatever machinery is required in the production process. With specialization, however, the worker becomes accustomed to the tools of the trade, so to speak,...
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