The Wealth of Nation

Book I Chapter I: Summary

Of the causes of improvement in the productive powers of labor, and of the order according to which its produce is naturally distributed among the different ranks of the people.

What is the division of Labor?
Work separated into a number of tasks, each performed by a different person or group of people.

The consequences of the division of labor are:

1.) increase the dexterity in every particular workman
Increases the quantity of work of a laborer by reducing one’s work into a simpler operation
Roles can be subdivided into simpler tasks
Allows an employee to develop a proficiency at a specific task

2.) Save the time which is lost passing from one species of work to another
It is less efficient to have a person preform multiple tasks
Ex. A person who is harvesting cotton, then spins it and weaves it will spend more time than having individuals who are designated to harvest, spin, and then weave because they would have to switch between different species of work.

3.) Machines which facilitate and abridge labor, and enable one man to do the work of many
Replace the human where a machine is capable of doing the work to increase efficiency
Reflection: manufacturing jobs can there for be reduced to nothing if the entire process is automated; however, the jobs for engineering, software and maintenance/technicians would increase requiring more education and skill from the work force.

Letters To The Sky

Dear Mia,

All I want is to find a way to make this situation work, to make your mom happy, to make myself happy, and most importantly make you happy. I study economics and statistics, people don’t realize this but in economics, a lot of it is maximizing our time. And we measure time, and we trade it and in the end of all things we try to maximize our utility–the real word should be happiness… with the limited time on this Earth, I want to maximize it for everyone.

 

Love,

Your Father

Letters To The Sky

Dear Mia,

There is so much to do in life, and I find myself overwhelmed with passion for many things that I lose focus over the things that will get me to my goals. I am obsessed with money, I must confess, which is why I am getting one of my degrees in economics. The most important part of economics is not money, although it is a strong measure of time and value. I am truly obsessed with two things: one, how to maximize my happiness, utility and dollar, second, how people act in the world. Now economics always assumes people act rational; however, there are other doctrines that assume otherwise, in fact Hitler’s autobiography assumes otherwise and he uses propaganda in a powerful and horrific way. But I am tell you this because I am looking for the key to spend the most time with you and to be happy, and I hope you do the same in your life. My current girlfriend tells me to follow my passions, follow who I am and then everything else will come.

 

Love,

Your Father

What do you do when something you support does something you don’t approve of?

I would consider myself a patriotic man, despite being heavily democratic. I believe that in this coming of age, the power of knowledge is extremely prevolent. It is so easy to access information, it may not always be true and my need fact checking but in general there is a solid foundation of information to the world because of the internet. I love this country, and would do most anything to support it, other than give up my family. Myself-yes; my family-no.

But what happens when the country you live in begins to do something I disagree with? Naturally I would stop purchasing from that country or state. In this case, it is California, California is doing something wrong, farmers there are using oil wastewater to irrigate their crops. Now California produces a huge amount of food for the country and the world, and contaminating our crops to chemicals from the wastewater is going to cost a huge amount in damage to lives. The consumption of gas has a high cost and we are begining to truly face it.

I may not see many people who develop cancer as a result. It basically feels like they are saying our lives do not matter, and it is very much so a situation in which the many upholds the few, or literally people climbing a mound of bodies to reach a pot of gold.

What should be done? What can be done? What would you do?