Adam Smith in Taylor Swift

See my latest post for Adam Smith Works.


The song “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift was the number-one song on charts in the United States and globally when it was released in October of 2022. Based on the record-breaking and continued popularity of the song, Swift’s struggles with self-loathing resonates with us. 

 It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me
 At tea time, everybody agrees

The theme of the song is that Swift feels like a moral monster who is exposed to the watching eyes of society. She imagines proper people gossiping about her flaws at teatime. This reference to British tea culture makes a perfect segue to the moral philosophy of Adam Smith. Those who only think of Smith as an early observer of modern economies might be surprised, but regular readers of AdamSmithWorks won’t be. 

The impartial spectator is a key concept in Smith’s theory…

At the end I even quote the song “Shake it Off.”

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