Monday, April 10, 2006

Economics 101: Essay Assignment

Opinion Piece: Times Online: 10 March:

Matthew Syed writes: “Please Tell us What We are Buying: without ‘traffic light’ labels, shoppers will be hoodwinked about ‘healthy’ products

And asserts:

Either way, it is beyond dispute that if every company insists on using its own design drawn from its own criteria, it will be well nigh impossible for the consumer to make an informed choice. Going it alone on food labelling is tantamount to severing Adam Smith’s invisible hand at the wrist. And then serving it up as a healthy-range ready meal.’


Economics 101 Essay Question: ‘Discuss the misuse of the metaphor “invisible hand” in Matthew Syed’s piece?’

Reading: Adam Smith: ‘The Principles which lead and direct Philosophical Enquiries; illustrated by the History of Astronomy’; ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’; ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and causes of the Wealth of Nations’ (all in the campus library), and posts on ‘Lost Legacy’, passim.

Matthew Syed’s article is at:,,6-2126681,00.html


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