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Dr Bill McArthur - Understanding Adam Smith

Dr Bill McArthur - Understanding Adam Smith: how the invisible hand beats the smart trick to create the common good

Self interest in Smith’s argument is not simply confined to profit seeking individuals, but in the context of business practice, people are led by an invisible hand to promote an end that was no part of their intention. That end was the common good.

Smith advocated that the role of government be more than mere policing. He considered that the government had a responsibility to ensure that the nation was well provided with ‘the necessaries and conveniences of life’. People must be reasonably sure that he or she will benefit from their labours.

This state of affairs can be achieved by haggling and bargaining in the market place. Not only does this facilitate a free flow of information, but ensures that people in small to medium sized enterprise are morally accountable to any disciplinary measures in which customer contact is inherent. As Smith puts it, ‘When people seldom deal with one another, we find that they are somewhat disposed to cheat, because they can gain more by a smart trick than they lose by the injury which it does to their character’.

Bill is a rare combination of industrialist & academic and has a PhD from the University of Waikato, and a background in high quality electrical precision and in the management of Arts notably with Theatre of the Impossible Charitable Trust.

Born in Scotland raised in the Waikato, Bill is passionate about social issues, ethical standards and accountability, and a ‘fair deal for all’.

When: Thursday April 23rd, 2015 6:30 PM through 8:00 PM

Location: Case Room 2, Business School, Owen Glenn Building, 12 Grafton Road, University of Auckland

Parking available under the building

You can register here.

ENDS

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