Adam Smith Comics: What Smith Said

art antitrust comics

Douglas Curtis and Jeremy Lott

What people think Adam Smith meant and what Adam Smith actually said aren't always the same thing. Curtis and Lott create a scene many Smith fans have likely dreamed of. 
Adam Smith's reputation and the power of his ideas and explanations make him a tempting target for people who want to add a figure of great authority to their arguments. But he can also be a difficult author to read and contextualize properly. Artist Douglas Curtis and script author and editor Jeremy Lott imagine the what many Smith fans have imagined, "what if we could actually bring him into our conversations?" Of course, he would be on "our" side. 

Here's an example of Smith balancing dangers to the public with concerns about also having just and liberal laws:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.

A regulation which obliges all those of the same trade in a particular town to enter their names and places of abode in a public register, facilitates such assemblies. It connects individuals who might never otherwise be known to one another, and gives every man of the trade a direction where to find every other man of it.

A regulation which enables those of the same trade to tax themselves in order to provide for their poor, their sick, their widows and orphans, by giving them a common interest to manage, renders such assemblies necessary.
Wealth of Nations, Book 1, Chapter X