The Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes


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            Adam Smith and Karl Marx are some of the few economists whose school of thoughts impacted the world’s economy through different generations. Smith argued that when individuals of a society work in self-interest, they collectively afford to acquire services and goods the society requires. This mechanism is famously known as “the invisible hand,” in Adam’s book The Wealth of Nations. Contrast with Adam’s theory, Karl Marx believes that a capitalist will take advantage of his labor forces for his own self-interest, and therefore it is better for individuals to be community oriented(Jingham & Girija, 2014).

            According to Smith, economic recession is the situation where there is a drop in the economy. Lack of employment is one of the indicators of a recession situation. Therefore, if each individual takes the initiative to generate income for self-interest, they will end up collectively averting an economic recession period.

            According to Karl Marx, greed and self-interest are not good for businesses and they are hazards in the society. Greed in business can occur when the rich business owners take advantage of their employees for their own self-interest and growth(Skousen, 2012). This amplifies the gap between the poor and the rich.

            However. Greed and self-interest can also be beneficial to any given business and society. Adam Smith’s school of thought contradicts with the moral values and ethics on greed andself-interest(Jingham & Girija, 2014). Greed will make individuals work extra hard in their distinct fields and, in the long run, these individual self-motivated interests add up to the aggregate well-being of the business. An example is an accountant, a procurement manager, the marketer, and the administrator, all working with self-interest will eventually jointly contribute greatly to the success of the business and the society.

            According to my current group, it is ethical for each member to work jointly with the rest of the members to achieve the group’s set objectives. Greed and self-interest are considered unethical for the group because it may lead to the dissolving of the group. This ethical perspective resemblesKarl Marx theory, since the aim of the group is to join us together for better achievement of our goals.


Jingham, M., & Girija, M. (2014). History of Economic Thought(Adam Smith and Karl Marx Contributions). New York: Vrinda Publications P Ltd.

Skousen, M. (2012). The Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. Routledge Publishers : Chicago.

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