WHERE IGNORANCE PREDOMINATES, MORAL CONFUSION THRIVES
“Anon” on “Discounted Hotel Rooms” HERE “Adam Smith Was Wrong – Sort Of”
“Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher in the 18th century. His flagship work, An Enquiry into the Wealth of Nations [sic - incorrect title], propelled him into a leadership role with respect to economic thought. His ideas were clear and compelling. With respect to labour, he explained how each person’s employment inadvertently benefited society, [Smith was referring to a merchant's behaviour not a labourer's employment!] “By directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of greatest value, he intends only his own gain. He's in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”. Fundamentally, what he was saying 233 years ago is people are basically selfish [Nonsense!] and any good that comes to society as a result of our industry is an unintentional byproduct. This notion became known in economics as the invisible hand. The economy just worked as a result of each person seeking to improve his or her lot without much regard for the welfare of others. [To make anything and sell it requires the co-operation of many others before anybody buys it and buyers must co-operate with others to acquire the money to buy anything]
Fast forwards to 2009. People are still inherently selfish. [Evidence?] Most people make decisions based on the “what’s in it for me?”. [Gross exaggeration!] Principle. The invisible hand is still at work. What Adam Smith couldn't foresee, however, was our population explosion combined with globalisation. In the world of Adam Smith, nations were islands of independence [Kings and Queens in the separate kingdoms of Europe were related by rivalry and marriage and often at war] and there was no Internet. So what? In a world of the advantaged and the severely disadvantaged, where ideas can spread like viruses across the globe via the Internet, we're compelled to care for the welfare of all people. [Many fewer billions 'live' on under $1 a day than ever before in all of human history in the last 20 years - globalisation works!]
People like Osama bin Laden are extremely powerful [living in a cave and in hiding?] because they're propagators of [evil] ideas. [such as: Kidnapping and selling 200+ young girls!) .Their ideas spread easily by virtue of technologies like the Internet and their ideas appeal to the most disadvantaged [and the most disgusting].
Those with nothing having nothing to lose. they're easily attracted to the idea of blowing up the world. At least large portions of society. Starting over. Those of us with a comfortable existence and lots of prospects for the future, have lots to lose. we're quite comfortable with the status quo.
The status quo, however, is at risk. If those of us who “have”. Continue to act as if those who “haven't”. Don’t matter, we'll find one day that the status quo has blown up in our faces. The business model of pursuing maximum profit with no regard for the impact of our business on others is obsolete. If we value our planet, we've no choice but to think holistically. We must balance our pursuit of profit with a proactive contribution to making the planet a better place.
Adam Smith’s world was a much simpler, somewhat protected world. [Life expectancy in Smith’s time was low - death in childbirth was common; tyrants killed many people!] Our world is complex, interconnected and vulnerable. If we intend only our own gain, we'll be “led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”. With men like Osama Bin Laden at large [he’s dead!] , that end won't be pretty. Terrorism finds a fertile home in the minds of the disadvantaged [and the most disgusting]. If Adam Smith were alive today, I’m sure he'd observe baker, butcher and brewer have no choice but to think beyond themselves and consider the benevolence of all people and how they might share their wealth to feed the world’s poor.” [Smith gave most of his wealth and savings away in charitable gifts throughout his life and his correspondence shows him helping many people find paid employment!]
[The author of this piece displays deep ignorance of Adam Smith (and also of punctuation!). Why? To sell information about discounted hotel rooms on the back of trashing a dead person's moral reputation! If that is not morally dubious, I do not know what is!]