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Making Complex Understandable: Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations"

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Steven, Shreveport, Louisiana. Welcome to the EIB Network. Great to have you with us, sir.

CALLER: Great to be here, Rush. I'll tell you, I've been listening to you for a long time, and I'm really shocked how few people call to take you on task of your truth -- or what you call the truth. Last week you mentioned, uh, something about the socialists don't create wealth; and today you say that Obama is wrong saying that cutting spending will not deal with prosperity. I mean, there's all kinds of example of that in the private -- in the private industries. I mean, GE cut spending, jobs, and businesses in the nineties; and they have destroyed $200 billion in market value. It's hard -- it's hard-pressed to find any nation on earth that is wealthy that does not have a socialist economy.

RUSH: I have totally lost the ability to keep up with you here.

CALLER: Okay.

RUSH: What did you...? What did I say that...? I said socialism doesn't create wealth?

CALLER: Yeah. You said socialism --

RUSH: It doesn't. Socialism does not create wealth. It redistributes wealth. Socialism doesn't create diddly-squat. Socialism is a parasite.

CALLER: How do you explain Canada? How do you explain Japan, Germany, Switzerland? How do you explain the wealth of these nations?

RUSH: They aren't wealthy. If you looked at 'em? Canada, by the way, is being run by a bunch of conservatives right now and has been for a long time. These Western European socialist democracies are about broke and turning around their socialism. Look at Greece. That's what you get. You got 14% permanent unemployment in the UK, in France. There's no wealth; they can't defend themselves, the Republicans. What are you talking about?

CALLER: A good book called The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith -- very powerful -- I recommend all your listeners read it. Very powerful in, uh, understanding what the "invisible hand" really is. I mean, Adam Smith spelled it out. Capitalism does not work.

RUSH: Okay. I want you to walk me through it. The countries that are now socialist are still living off of their former capitalism. There's no startup socialist country that you can show me that's wealthy. Cuba? Even the ChiComs have had to go capitalist in order to feed their people! Thank you. I love that call.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This guy, I don't think, has read The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. Let me summarize. You know, one of the great things about me... (laughing) Did I actually say that? (laughing) I make the complex understandable. You want to know? You don't have to read The Wealth of Nations. I'm just gonna tell you about it. Adam Smith's point is by looking out for yourself -- your own selfish self-interests -- the general good is accomplished. It is, frankly, where I learned the difference between "selfishness" and "self-interest," and the two are often combined (mistakenly so). Self-interest is not selfishness. A man seeking to improve his lot in life so that his family benefits is acting in his own self-interests. If he, in his own self-interest, improves himself and his family, then the general good is accomplished. This pretty much is a summarization of The Wealth of Nations. The invisible hand, self-interest, looking out for yourself, not depending on somebody else. That's often confused. In fact, not "often." The Democrats and liberals today -- every chance they get -- try to call that selfishness, and it isn't. You know, the guy wants to respond to the call is Marty, Fort Pierce, Florida. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.

CALLER: Hi there. Yes. Well, you just said that I was gonna say (chuckling) which I don't know where this guy got what he's talking about. The invisible hand is the essence of capitalism.

RUSH: Yes!

CALLER: It's pure capitalism.

RUSH: Yes.

CALLER: If I go about doing the best I can for my family, my self-interest, I could... Even... Well, I guess "greed" would kind of nix that out, but if I just go about it and do the best I can and improve.

RUSH: Well, even "greed" sometimes is misdefined in this context.

CALLER: Yes, it is. But if I go about it and to the height of my ambition do the best I can, the way our country is set up -- the way it's gonna work out, the way capitalism works -- it's just amazing. He couldn't even define it. He just said, "It's the invisible hand!"

RUSH: He doesn't know what he was talking about; that's why I couldn't follow him. You know, my brain and socialism, it's tough to follow. Let me quote Adam Smith. You'll recognize this 'cause you've read the book. This is another just very succinct explanation, illustration. "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest." In other words, the butcher is not working in his shop so that you can eat; he's doing it so that he can. But by virtue of him being there, doing what he does, you're able to. He's looking out for his own self-interests. The general good is elevated.

Liberals despise that.

They despise that way of thinking.

"The purpose of a corporation is to provide health care. The purpose of a corporation is to provide jobs. That's it. The purpose of a corporation is to provide benefits." Well, nothing could be further from the truth. That's not the purpose of a corporation or a business, large or small. The invisible hand is everybody looking out for themselves. It's the essence of capitalism! Like you, Marty, I had no clue what the guy was talking about.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here is Harlan, Garland, Texas, great to have you on the EIB Network, sir. Hi.

CALLER: Thank you, sir. Hi. You know, Obama's really waging classic Marxist warfare, and he uses words to do it.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: And it doesn't matter to him whether every word that comes out of his mouth is a flat-out lie, whether he knows it or anybody else knows it, he doesn't care, 'cause what's he's trying to do is misinform, discourage, undermine, and mislead. I remember listening to Ronald Reagan, one that you played, where he announces his candidacy. And Reagan was always encouraging. I remember hearing him on TV, and I --

RUSH: Harlan, let me ask you a question. You sit there and you say that Obama is trying to misinform and discourage and undermine, mislead. Why? Why would he want to do that to people?

CALLER: Because I think he wants to undermine any kind of encouragement. He wants to discourage, because discouragement feeds this --

RUSH: Why? How does he benefit from that?

CALLER: Because it gives him power. It's a classic Marxist --

RUSH: Exactly right. The more discouraged you are, the more defeated you are, the more hopeless you feel, you'll turn to Obama for your solution. Harlan is exactly right. Exactly right.

END TRANSCRIPT

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