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Joe Flacco's salary and Adam Smith's paradox of value
The op-ed pieces that are occasionally presented by local professors are eye opening, not for their insight but for their lack thereof. If professor Don Norris ("Flacco's contract shows America's skewed priorities," June 121) had taken an Economics 101 course, he would have certainly studied the paradox of value. In the Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith wrote, "The things which have the greatest value in use frequently have little or no value in exchange; on the contrary, those which have the greatest value in exchange frequently have little or no value in use. Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarce anything; scarce anything can be had in exchange for it. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarce any use-value; but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it."
June 14, 2013