104: Russ Roberts on How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life and the Theory of Moral Sentiments
Russ is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
His two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek, created with filmmaker John Papola, have had more than eight million views on YouTube.
Russ’ latest book How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness takes the lessons from Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments and applies them to modern life.
Russ is also the author of three economic novels teaching economic lessons and ideas through fiction. The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity, The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance and The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism.
Russ blogs at CafeHayek.com and archives his work at russroberts.info.
A three-time teacher of the year, Russ has taught at George Mason University, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and the University of California.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
In this episode, Russ discusses and mentions: Adam Smith, F. A. Hayek, David Hume, Vernon Smith, Milton Friedman and Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
In this episode, Russ discusses and mentions: Austrian economics, classical economics, spontaneous order, pricing, supply, demand, surge pricing, unintended consequences, price controls, taxes and subsidies.
In this episode, you will learn:
- about Adam Smith and how the application of Smith’s philosophical and economic thinking can change your life.
- what the market forces are and the positive and negative examples of the spontaneous order.
- the invisible hand and prices.
- what surging prices are.
- what Smith describes as the impartial spectator and the power of our conscience.
- Adam Smith’s advice on how to be happy.
- two ways to get people to pay attention to you and what Smith believed is the most ethical way.
- what Smith believed was the cultural norm to accept behaviors.
Two Ways to Get People to Pay Attention to You:
Be rich, famous and powerful. It works. But don’t be fooled. You have a natural tendency to pursue money, fame and power because it will get you attention, respect and love. But that’s the wrong way to get there.
The right way to get there is through wisdom and virtue. Understand the world and treat people well. If you do that, you’re also going to be loved, respected and praised. But you won’t be doing the things along the way that people do when they want to become rich, powerful and famous that are not so good for you that cold lead to regret, shame and misbehavior. The temptation to do the unethical thing to pursue fame, power and money is always there.
- Write everyday.
- The trick to being a good writer is being a good editor.
Where to Find Russ Roberts:
- Website: russroberts.info
- Website: econtalk.org
- Twitter: @EconTalker
- Medium: medium.com/@russroberts
- How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness by Russ Roberts
- The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity by Russ Roberts
- The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance by Russ Roberts
- The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism by Russ Roberts
- The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith
- The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
- The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek) by F. A. Hayek
- Individualism and Economic Order by F. A. Hayek
- Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets (Incerto) by Nassim Taleb