Wednesday, June 28, 2017

INTERESTING BUT PARTLY FLAWED HYPOTHESIS

RAHUK MATTHAN  posts (28 June) on LIVE MINT HERE
http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/oqXSrwt7z9jXRM7D5g1DoI/The-future-of-ownership.html
“The future of ownership
India has the unique opportunity to stand at the very forefront of the future of mobility
Ownership is central to modern economic theory. Adam Smith saw property as the means for providing for physical needs—both at the level of the individual and society. He believed that if ever there was a dissonance between private ownership of property and the interests of society as a whole, the “invisible hand” would correct the imbalance. As a result, the ownership of property is not only central to our existence, in many ways, it represents the aspirational goals of our lives. It has become the basis on which we measure our success—in terms of where we live, the property we own, the clothes we wear and the cars we drive.”
Comment
Interesting speculation by Rahuk Mattan. I am not so sure of his background-thesis that personal property is a relatively recent socially accepted phenomenon. Even in primitive tribal societies the notion of our exclusively owned hunting grounds were apparently observed, along with capital punishment for other tribes intruding upon them (See Vancouver’s accounts of his 18th-century voyages to the North-west coast and islands off North-west America).
This paragraph in Rahuk Matthan's otherwise interesting article caught my attention:
“Adam Smith saw property as the means for providing for physical needs—both at the level of the individual and society. He believed that if ever there was a dissonance between private ownership of property and the interests of society as a whole, the “invisible hand” would correct the imbalance.”
On what authority did Rahuk Mattan compose this paragraph? It certainly does not come from anything Adam Smith wrote, either about private property or about his singular us of the invisible hand metaphor, which was on a different subject altogether.

This invented error spoils what is otherwise an interesting hypothesis about the future of the private ownership of automobiles, especially in the technical age of driverless vehicles and ‘Uber' services.

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