Friday, January 24, 2014

Why Adam Smith is still relevant today

People still talk about Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" to this day

People still talk to this day about an economics book that was published in 1776. And though the year I'm talking about is rightfully associated with America, this book was actually published by someone in the mother country that we were then at war with. Adam Smith (the author of this book) was a Scotsman, which meant that he was also British.

John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence

Historical note: Adam Smith sympathized with the American Revolution

But his views about the American Revolution were actually fairly sympathetic to the Patriot side. He favored giving the American colonies either representation in Parliament, or independence from the mother country. (For evidence of this, see this blog post.) Because I discussed this subject at length in my other blog post referenced above, I will not go into it further here; but will now launch into my discussion of his political and economic ideas, and how they apply to our world today.

Adam Smith

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My experience with Spanish

Those who know me know that I am a language enthusiast. I have spent a lot of time trying to learn other languages, and learning languages like Ancient Greek (or even French or German) makes me a bit unusual. But my trying to learn Spanish generally doesn't raise any eyebrows. The perception that "everybody speaks it" is (for some) an argument against learning it, as they value being different for the sake of difference. But for a practical person like me, the large number of Spanish speakers is an excellent argument for learning the language, because it grants you access to the hearts, minds, and wallets of a large population. To be sure, this is why the Spanish language is so commonly taught in the Southwest, because the practical benefits of Spanish fluency are attractive to many.

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