Title: Adam Smith's Opinion of Corporations

Essay by epidemikUniversity, Bachelor's March 2005

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Adam Smith's Opinion of Corporations

Adam Smith, a Scottish political economist and philosopher laid the foundations of the free-market economic theory with his book The Wealth of Nations. He criticized the restrictive, regulated, mercantilist system, and showed how the principles of free trade, competition, and choice would stimulate economic development, and cause social and moral progress of humankind. Concerned with people's liberty being encroached upon though the use of corporations to restrain competition and establish monopolies, Mr. Smith condemned them for their effect in restricting "natural liberty". (Smith)

The founding fathers of this nation carried out a revolution in order free themselves from oppression, whether corporate or government and to replace it with a democratic self-government. Adam Smith's theory opposed any form of economic concentration because it alters the markets natural ability to establish a price that provides an adequate return; to produce pleasing outcomes for buyers and sellers both; and to optimally allot a society's resources.

(Korten) Some of Smith's main principles: 'total freedom'; individuals should be able to enter or exit an industry at will, freely trade with one another and pursue whatever dream they have; 'perfect competition'; a greater number of competitors in a market equals higher quality products at cheaper prices.

Government extending its power through corporations and corporations taking on the power of government is not a new problem. In today's society this problem prevails more than ever. Take the microchip industry for example. Micron, an Idaho based corporation has lobbied the Bush administration into putting a tariff on imported microchips, because Micron feels Hynix, a South Korean company, is selling their chips at a lower price than U.S. companies do. Micron insists Hynix practices are unlawful and American consumers should be forced to pay higher prices when buying computer equipment. (McCullagh) So...