Employers’ Economics versus Employees’ Economy

How Adam Smith’s Legacy Obscures Public Investment in the Private Sector

  • John F. M. McDermott

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 1-27
  3. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 29-55
  4. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 57-88
  5. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 89-113
  6. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 115-143
  7. John F. M. McDermott
    Pages 145-171
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 173-191

About this book


This book argues that economic activity in the public sphere now underwrites private corporations, and rejects rigid adherence to traditional economic theories that no longer apply. Adam Smith's widely used "merchant's model" assumes that most investment is private, when in fact research demonstrates that public investment in the workforce through education and training far outweighs the private sector, and does not account for the growing presence of consensual pricing, the diversification of modern businesses, or the increasing internal authoritarianism of globalizing companies. With de facto public support for these adaptations undermining the universally presumed economic model, private corporations are able to increase their profits while misrepresenting the investment of their own global labor forces. This book suggests an "economy of laws" solution that balances the needed degree of central investment planning with the continuation of our pluralist economy of largely autonomous firms, principally by extending the full rights of citizens into the workplace itself.


industrial revolution economic development Fundamental Welfare Theorem Pareto efficiency Pareto optimality methodological individualism public investment private investment social infrastructure monopolistic competition social division of labor technical division of labor bondaged labor

Authors and affiliations

  • John F. M. McDermott
    • 1
  1. 1.State University of New YorkOld WestburyUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-50148-2
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-50149-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site