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What the great economic thinkers would make of 2018

Smith, Marx and Ricardo are giants of economic theory. Here, economics professor Linda Yueh imagines what advice they'd give us today

By Linda Yueh   May 2018

A monument to Karl Marx. But what would he—and other great economic thinkers of the twentieth century—advise today? Photo: Pixabay

Adam Smith: build a smart state

Smith’s writing famously urged a limited role for government—but he should not be caricatured of as believing in pure laissez-faire. He argued that the state should step in where markets don’t work. It should, for example, maintain good transport facilities, as that would break monopolies and encourage competition. He also thought government should provide universal education. So, it isn’t impossible to imagine a modern-day Smith…

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