© 2016

Adam Smith’s Equality and the Pursuit of Happiness


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. John E. Hill
    Pages 71-119
  3. John E. Hill
    Pages 121-145
  4. John E. Hill
    Pages 147-160
  5. John E. Hill
    Pages 161-177
  6. John E. Hill
    Pages 179-191
  7. John E. Hill
    Pages 193-212
  8. John E. Hill
    Pages 213-225
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 227-252

About this book


This book examines Adam Smith’s main principles in Wealth of Nations as the basis for effective policymaking. Adam Smith wanted to increase happiness through this formula for a good life: equality, liberty, and justice. Free market interpretations of Smith, the book argues, grossly misrepresent his thought, emphasizing only liberty and not also equality and justice. This book suggests policies that combine all three in order for happiness to be maximized.


Adam Smith American Dream Business ethics Happiness Healthcare Free market Education Equality Hedonic treadmill Laissez-faire Invisible Hand Justice Liberty Umpire of capitalism Universal health insurance Wealth Universal early childhood education

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Curry CollegeMiltonUSA

About the authors

John E. Hill is an award-winning Professor of Politics and History at Curry College, USA. He is the author of Democracy, Equality and Justice: John Adams, Adam Smith and Political Economy (2007).

Bibliographic information


“Drawing artfully from the humanities and social sciences, Hill brings a prodigious array of classical and contemporary scholarship to bear on one of the central issues of our political and economic systems, making a compelling case for re-examining the writings of Adam Smith and their continuing influence on our thinking today. Undercutting the conventional understanding of the ideals of liberty and equality, Hill elaborates Smith’s notion that both ideals are subservient to the ultimate purpose of government – the happiness of the governed.” (David Tebaldi, Executive Director, Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, USA)

“This is a superb commentary measuring contemporary America against the analysis and implied standards of Adam Smith during the formative years of the American republic. The book is insightful about contemporary America, sound in its scholarship of Smith, and thoughtful in its comparison of his aspirations against what time has produced.” (David H. Bayley, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, State University of New York at Albany, USA)

“What emerges from Hill's pages is a compassionate, sensible, and eminently practical Adam Smith, whose commitment to equality, liberty, and justice as the basic principles of a flourishing society is both unquestionable and inspiring.” (Richard Kyte, Director, D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership, Viterbo University, USA)