Self-interest and selfishness are terms that are talked about often in Bulls, Bears, and Golden Calves, by John E. Stapleford. Self-interest is when someone is trying to safeguard their interest, all the while, taking into account how it may affect others. Selfishness is when someone makes decisions based on one’s self with no regard for others people. If someone is making decisions in a market economy based on self-interest, they are looking out for not only themselves, but they also are looking to see the effect those decisions could possibly affect the customer. These are the type of people you can trust and want to invest, time and money into. If someone is making decisions out of selfishness, they are really looking out for themselves only. It’s this kind of decision-making we cannot trust, since they look out for themselves and themselves alone.
The definition of positive economics is that it is objective and fact based, “what is”, and normative economics is subjective and value based, “what ought to be.” Unlike positive economics, normative cannot be scientifically tested and is nearly impossible to confirm the validity. One example would be voters in a political race. Two people may differ on a proposed policy based on the political party they side with and no the facts.
Adam Smith believes competition, ones individual morality, acts as a curb on the self-interest in an economy. The market prices charged by a merchant of supplies and