Adam Smith and The Roots of Populism
Roberto Censolo and
No 20210610, Working Papers from University of Ferrara, Department of Economics
Industry, frugality and prudence can foster growth, and, in turn, growth can sustain individual beliefs that these virtues are the right recipe for the pursuing of happiness. This virtuous circle is an often emphasized contribution of Adam Smith. Equally important but neglected, is the Adam Smith's fear that the opposite vitious cycle can meterialize, especially at stages of development of commercial society characterized by stagnation, alienating working conditions and growming inequality: stagnation of wages, and the frustration coming from the perceived impossibility of trickle down effects from the growing wealth of the few, can degenerate moral sentiments, in ways that we can now associate to may of the current features of populism.
Keywords: Adam Smith; Moral Sentiments; Secular Stagnation; Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B12 E71 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gro, nep-his, nep-hpe, nep-isf, nep-mac and nep-mic
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:udf:wpaper:20210610
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