1. Robert Heilbroner; “The Essential Adam Smith”; W.W. Norton & Company; New York; 1986; p. 169. (Uses the Strahan and Cadell edition of “The Wealth of Nations”).
2. Ibid.; p. 62. Heilbroner commentary.
3. Ibid.; p. 65.
4. Adam Smith; “The Wealth of Nations”; Glasgow Edition; Book I, Chapter X; p. 145.
5. For instance, the 5/25/19 Forbes reports that the world’s five largest publicly owned oil and gas companies spent approximately $200MM per year, “…on lobbying designed to control, delay or block binding climate-motivated policy.” The core business of these companies, in spite of all their Green advertising, results in the production of atmospheric carbon.
6. Heilbroner; p. 284.
7. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Real Median Household Income in the United States. 2000-2018.
8. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Total Net Worth Held by the Top 1%. 2000-2018.
9. Wikipedia, accessed 11/18/20. List of U.S. states and territories ranked by 2018 median household income. Overlay of 2020 presidential election results.
10. Joseph Stiglitz; “People, Power, and Profits”; W.W. Norton & Company; New York; 2019; p. 49.
11. This econometric study, “Declining Labor and Capital Shares”, by Professor Simcha Barkai directly shows that increases in industry concentration cause the decline in the labor share of economic value added. (Those who have traveled in the Eurozone know that their taxation system is based on a Value Added Tax.) The author uses the standard linear regression model, detrends the economic data by taking first differences and finds the above result at a 5% level of statistical significance.
This study has been peer reviewed by the Journal of Finance.
12. Stiglitz; p. 78.
13. Ibid.; p. 79.
14. Ibid.; p. 86.
15. An inspection of the economic data shows no link between a country’s economic growth and its degree of industrialization. However, “industrialization” probably includes mining activities in developing countries. Here, we are mainly talking about the more labor-intensive automobile or light industries.
16. Stiglitz; p. 100.
17. Ibid.; p. 114.
18. Ibid.; p. 109.
19. statista.com website: 2019 average U.S., EU and U.K. financial asset trading = US$779.4 billion/day.
20. tradingeconomics.com website: U.S., EU and U.K. 2019 GDP ÷ 260 = US$144.6 billion/day. To carry this example to the investor level: In 2019 Merrill Lynch, now a subsidiary of Bank of America, made a record $40MM settlement with Craig Benson, a former governor of North Carolina and a successful businessman, cofounding Cabletron, a cable and local networking equipment manufacturer. During the arbitration proceeding, Mr. Benson alleged excessive trading, unauthorized trading and excessive commissions. He did, however, acknowledge that he didn’t read his account statements (which must have been many). You should always know what’s happening in your financial accounts, and you should understand your investments.
21. Stiglitz, p. 113.
22. Ibid.; p. 115.
23. Ibid.; p. 125.
24. Ibid.; p. 124.
25. Heilbroner; p. 96.