Happy Independence Day

“You have a republic, if you can keep it.”—reliably attributed to Benjamin Franklin, at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. With that as our text in mind for this parlous and yet inspiring Independence Day celebration, two threads tying our...

Happy Birthday, Adam Smith!

Adam Smith’s 294th birthday. An alternate calendar convention puts his birthday on June 16, 1723; the difference has to do with whether you do (June 16) or do not (June 5) adjust his birthday to reconcile it with the adoption of the Gregorian (Continental)...

Adam Smith on the Colonists’ Victory

Adam Smith was living in Edinburgh in October 1777 when a distraught friend brought news of the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga, exclaiming in the deepest distress that the British Empire was ruined. “There is much ruin in a nation,”...

Happy Birthday, Adam Smith!

Today is Adam Smith’s birthday: 1723, so he would be 292 today. Well, at least we think so. His birth was registered at the church in Kirkcaldy, Scotland (just across the Firth of Forth north of Edinburgh, not 10 miles as the crow flies) on 5 June 1723, so...

Ronald Coase, 1910 – 2013

Ronald Coase died Monday in Chicago at 102. The Nobel Laureate in Economics in 1991, his two most famous papers, The Nature of the Firm (1937) and The Problem of Social Cost (1960) began by asking such profoundly simple questions—the word “childlike” is...
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