>>53648016 His complaint was that while countries were competing with each other economically, because of Mercantilism they resorted to beggar-thy-neighbor strategies (My country will be richer if I take stuff from the other countries). It created a system where a tiny number of countries completely controlled all trade and left most people worse off as wealth trickled up.
He proposed we let individual people compete with each other without the government getting involved.
Because of course people wouldn't create a system that involves a small percentage of the people making all of the money by ensuring the rest got very little, while the wealth trickled up. That could never happen.
>>53648016 He starts out talking about how the division of labor allows for far greater productive capacity than everyone doing everything for themselves, and that this principle of specialization extends to nations, and as such trade between nations allows for greater wealth than would be possible in a protectionist system. At least that's part of it.
>>53649028 Water is absolutely necessary to live but is cheap, while diamonds are useless luxuries (18th century, there weren't diamond-tipped drills or anything) that are expensive. Basically it's that the degree to which a product is necessary is far from the sole determinant of its price.
>>53649289 In other words, utility is not the main determinant of price, but marginal utility is. The more you have of something, the less you are willing to pay for one more unit. The less you have of something, the more you are willing to pay for one more unit.
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