Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On the Genesis of the Myth of the Invisible Hand from the 1950s no. 6

William Baumol and A. S. Binder, 1979. Economics: principles and policy, pp 593, 599, 806-7, Harcourt Bruce Jovanovich, New York.

Among the main points made in [Wealth Of Nations] are the importance for a nation’s prosperity, of freedom of trade and the division of labor, the dangers of governmental politics of monopolies and the imposition of tariffs, and the superiority of self-interest - the instrument of the “invisible hand” – over altruism as a means of improving the economy’s service to the general public’ (593)

[Appendix] ‘The Invisible Hand in the Distribution of Goods and in Production Planning’ (599)

Passing remarks of no great importance, except they remind readers of their first year tutors’ assurances of the existence of an invisible hand as a noun not a metaphor.

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