Most politico-economic policies in our time are in response to the demands of this or that special interest group, while the general interest is ignored.
I am going to argue that ideas often stand in an illuminating relationship to some objective reality, but that often, perhaps most of the time, that is not their primary function.
If you hold a set of political beliefs, not so much because they seem right to you but because you like to think of yourself as the sort of person who holds those beliefs, then you are capable of committing a wealth of excess in the name of those beliefs.
In the past few decades, a growing tide of regulations has increased the demand for oil while simultaneously restricting domestic supplies of oil, coal, nuclear power, and natural gas.
In the past four decades, we have seen a dramatic growth in the scope of government power in the United States: a drainage of power upward out of the states into the central government, and within that central government, away from the Congress into the hands of the executive.
Even before the first of our bicentennial observations began, it was altogether predictable that their emphasis should fall more upon the what than the why of events transpiring during and prior to our original War for Independence.
The future of the private enterprise system in the United States is going to be determined by the outcome of the current debate that is now heating up over government regulation and deregulation.
Political support for saving and building of wealth seems to offer little promise of popular acclaim or votes at elections.
I am convinced that Smith is not only relevant today but that his insight and wisdom, if applied to today's world, would yield only a freer but a more productive and equitable set of economic arrangements than if we applied a mixture of what was thought to be the best of contemporary thought.
I will only note that economic inequalities somehow still survive despite the incredible complexities that have been written into the law to reduce them.