Friday, March 28, 2014

From My NoteBook no. 24

"WHEN Adam Smith was 22, he famously proclaimed that, "Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.” 
Ricardo Hausmann in "States need an invisible hand to fix their flaws” (26 March).

Dugald Stewart, AS Eulogy, read to RSE Jan-March 1793. 
Smith born 1723; therefore aged 22 = 1745. 

To show: 1755 paper written when Smith was 26 NOT 22. 

Glasgow student = 1737-40 = aged = 14 - 17.
Oxford student = 1740-1746 = aged 17 - 23.
Edinburgh lectures = 1748 - 1751 = age 25-28.
Glasgow lectures = 1752 - 64 = age 28-40.
'Easy taxes' paper, ‘1755' - 6 years = 1749 = age 26.
Therefore:
  1. The ‘1755’ quotation from paper written by his ’scribe’ from Smith’s dictation for Edinburgh lectures in 1749.  Smith was aged 26, repeated in Glasgow lectures 1752 - ?
  2. Smith was 22 in (1723 + 22) = 1745 and he was still at Oxford.
  3. Hence, Smith wrote ‘easy taxes’ paper at age = 26 = 1749, not 22.
Comment
As a new feature of Lost Legacy I shall post more 'From my Note Book' series of occasional jottings.  These may interest scholars and promote critical comments and observations.  
They are not intended to be critical or to have polemical content.
They are notes I make on a regular basis which do not appear on Lost Legacy but may promote readers to see what they can find on the issues and subjects.
For instance, I have just read Ricardo Hausmann on "States need an invisible hand to fix their flaws” (26 March) which has promoted some very useful thinking about current policy issues of which I intend to Blog about.

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