Marie Michael Library
The debate on economic and social security in the late eighteenth century: lessons of a road not taken
The author revisits social policies developed by Adam Smith, who has been lauded by neo-liberal economists as the symbol of free trade and limited state power. Smith, in fact, believed fervently in improving the lot of the poor. He opposed income tax, in favour of progressive taxation on luxury goods, and inspired others to develop anti-poverty social programmes.