Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday’s Naïve Nonsense About Adam Smith

Quoted from today’s Chicago Tribune:

The dealmakers forgot to consult their undoubtedly dog-eared copies of Adam Smith, the man they cite for the proposition that they are being led as if by an invisible hand to do the public good. ... It is not unreasonable to guess that Smith would not have approved of a taxation system that allowed a British billionaire to pay taxes at a lower rate than the woman who cleans his office, or an American multibillionaire to enjoy a tax rate far below that inflicted on his butler".

Irwin M. Seltzer, The Weekly Standard

Really? Chicago dealmakers have read Adam Smith’s Wealth Of Nations? Their copies are so often used that they are ‘undoubtedly dog eared’? He means ‘beyond reasonable doubt’? And they found the phrase, which they have forgotten: ‘they are being led as if by an invisible hand to do the public good?

Wow! Well we know for sure that Irwin Seltzer does not read Wealth Of Nations regularly enough for his copy to be dog eared, because if he had read it, even once, he would know that Adam Smith did not say ‘led as if by an invisible hand’. There’s no ‘as if’ about it.

Check it out at: WN IV.ii.9. p 456.

And these guys make millions …


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