Saturday, January 19, 2013

'Anonymous' is Wrong; Try Again?

The ‘Invisible Hand’ is an economic concept developed by economist Adam Smith to explain the natural regulation of a free market that comes about when individuals are left to pursue their own self-interests."
Posted by ‘anonymous’ on “Raising the Invisible HandHERE
It was not a “concept” developed by Adam Smith (nor was he an “economist”); it did not explain the “natural regulation of a free-market”, and nor was it “about when individuals are left to pursue their own self-interests”.
It was a metaphor, popular in the 17th-18th centuries, used twice only by Adam Smith, and applied in the first case in Moral Sentiments to “a proud and unfeeling landlord”, not likely to be found in a ‘free market”, and in the second case in Wealth of Nations it applied to some, but not all, merchants in the highly regulated UK mercantile economy discussed by Adam Smith for being specifically dominated by legislation ensuring far from “free market” conditions.
So where does “anonymous” get these wrong-headed ideas from?
Smith’s writing on self-interest does not conform to the Maximum Utility models of neoclassical economics.  Smith notes scores of cases where individuals pursuing their self-interests undermine the self-interests of others. In fact, Smith’s ideas on the “pursuit” of self-interests are quite the opposite of the views asserted in “Raising the Invisible Hand” at the head of the above statement. 
[I have no views on the politics expressed by "anonymous", as I only comment on political views expressed in the country or about the country where I vote, i.e., Scotland.]


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