Ep47. Re-read “The Wealth of Nations” 再读”国富论”

#The Wealth of Nations

I recently re-read Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations”. I bought this book a couple of years ago, read it briefly and placed it on my book shelf. This time I decided to read it in deep, and found it was such an extraordinary book, offering so much wisdom, not only to provide a recipe for nation’s wealth, but also for success and prosperities of individual like you and me. I summarised the key points from the books that I’ve learned to share here:

  1. Specialisation through division of labour is the key to nation’s wealth;
  2. Self-interest, not regard for others, is the essential engine for prosperity;
  3. Capital plays crucial role in personal and national prosperity;
  4. Real wealth of nation consists of its productive output, and the system of money flow;
  5. Wealth of nations depends on amount of productive labour;
  6. Price of products consist three elements: rent, wages, and profit, it is constantly being adjusted by the law of supply and demand;
  7. Agriculture is the original source of nation’s wealth, good returns from agriculture can be ploughed back into manufacturing and trade; 
  8. Trade always benefits both parties, wealth depends on the size of the market, trade restriction and protection are harmful;
  9. Government should limit their roles to military protection, judicial protection, and providing public works, institutions, or services; 
  10. National and personal attributes of success are similar: frugality and industriousness.


  1. 分工专业化是国家财富的关键;
  2. 个人的自利,是繁荣的基本动力;
  3. 资本在个人和国家的繁荣中起着关键作用;
  4. 国家真正的财富包括其生产产出和货币流通体系;
  5. 国家的财富取决于生产劳动的数量;
  6. 产品价格由租金、工资和利润三个因素组成,它不断地受供求法则调整;
  7. 农业是国家财富的原始源泉,农业的良好回报可以用于制造业和贸易;
  8. 贸易总是使双方受益,财富取决于市场的规模,贸易限制和保护主义是有害的;
  9. 政府应限制其角色,仅限于军事保护、司法保护和提供公共工程、机构或服务;
  10. 成功的国家和个人特质相似:节俭和勤劳。

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