One of the most important of Smith's ideas in The Wealth of Nations is that government should interfere in the running of the economy as little as possible. To be sure, Smith believed that the government still had an important role to play in establishing a legal and regulatory framework in which businesses operate, but beyond that, he regarded government intervention as tending towards more harm than good.
In Smith's day, the British government was run by the nobility, and the nobility, for the most part, were hopelessly ignorant of how a modern economy functioned. This was mainly because British noblemen were precluded by snobbery from getting involved too much with business and trade, which they thought beneath them. Yet despite this, the upper-classes still insisted on involving themselves with certain aspects of economic management.
Smith strongly believed that the running of the economy was way too important to leave in the hands of such amateurs. The best way to ensure that the...
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