Essay on Capitalism and Adam Smith Cont

Submitted By rgg56
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Pages: 2

BUSINESS ETHICS
GBA 2013
1/22/2015

SO FAR…
• HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY AN ISSUE THAT HAS
AN ETHICAL COMPONENT? (ETHICAL ISSUE):
WHEN IT INVOLVES PEOPLE AND WHAT
PEOPLE CARE ABOUT…
• WHAT CHARACTERISTICS OF PEOPLE MUST
NOT BE VIOLATED? ‘RATIONALITY AND
AUTONOMY’ (DIGNITY)

At The Very Least, You Know Your Behavior Is
Unethical When It Violates A Persons
‘RATIONALITY And/or AUTONOMY’.
• THIS IS THE PART OF US THAT ALLOWS US TO
DISTINGUISH BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG.
• THIS IS ALSO THE PART OF US THAT ALLOWS
US TO HOLD EACH OTHER RESPONSIBLE FOR
OUR BEHAVIOR.

ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
The big three…

• CAPITALISM
• SOCIALISM
• COMMUNISM

GREATER GOOD
• Quality of life
• Human flourishing
• Happiness
• Freedom/autonomy
• More stuff/ Wealth
• Innovation
• Power
• Safety and Security
• etc.

A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF
ADAM SMITH’S FREE MARKET
HANDOUT ON BLACKBOARD

• CAPITALISM
• INVISIBLE HAND
• LAISSEZ FAIR
• FREE MARKET
• PROFIT MOTIVE

Common (incomplete) view
• We are by nature self-interested/competitive.
• Left to its own devices, free from government intervention, the profit motive will produce the most efficient market
(given there is no deception or fraud).
• The most efficient market will generate the greater good.
• When there appears to be problem with the outcome, leave it alone, the market will fix itself.
• Interfering, by way of regulation, is interfering with the greater good.

Adam Smith moral philosopher:
Theory of Moral Sentiments




political economist:
Wealth of Nations

HUMAN SENTIMENTS
BY ADAM SMITH

• WE ARE BY NATURE SELFINTERESTED AND COMPETITIVE
• WE ARE BY NATURE
COMPASSIONATE, SYMPATHETIC,
AND EMPATHETIC

…Adam Smith cont’d…

Our self-interest/competition & compassion/sympathy are not mutually exclusive.
*

…Adam Smith cont’d…

* In fact, we can’t help…