Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"The Adam Smith Solution Prize" for May 2005!

There are occasional glimpses of welcome news on The Adam Smith Solution – no, not the original 'Das Adam Smith Problem', emanating from a few 19th century German academics.

I refer to the modern, serious 'Das Adam Smith Problem' that portrays his contribution to political economy as steeped in laissez faire, minute roles for the State, a capitalism ‘red in tooth and claw’, and the separation of economics from morality and the normal decencies of human conduct.

None of these associations were part of Adam Smith’s Legacy.

Scanning daily the world’s press can be exasperating for those trying to recover Smith legacy. The field is crowded with those spreading the false image of what Adam Smith wrote about. Hence, to come across an item that is spot on the truth is truly a happy occasion.

Ganesh S. Krishnan, from Minnesota, USA, wrote on Monday May 16 a Letter to the Editor of The Indian Express, Bombay, India (http:/www.indianexpress.com.print.php?content_id=70413). He spoke of a six-hour video programme, “Commanding Heights – The Battle for the World Economy” that extolled the virtues of free markets and free trade and added:

“But we need to bear in mind, lest we get bowled over by free trade, that Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (1776) was a polemic against monopolist tendencies. He favoured open competition, not the absence of restraints on the free market.”

Could Ganesh S. Krishnan be clearer? He is 100 per cent right. If only the majority of those who profess to speak on Smith’s behalf were as familiar with Smith’s legacy, half the Das Adam Smith Problem would be solved (the other half requires Professors of Economics in the world’s universities to stop teaching their students nonsense about Smith, thus spreading the contagion into the next generations).

I have started a monthly prize today: “The Adam Smith Solution Prize” for clearly demonstrating an understanding “Wealth of Nations” or “Moral Sentiments”.

This Month’s Adam Smith’s Lost legacy “The Adam Smith Solution Prize” is awarded to Ganesh S. Krishnan of Minnesota.

[Should you have nominations for the monthly prize, send them to http://www.lostlegacy.co.uk/ ]


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