Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Loony Tunes no. 50 (a milestone?)

 With this 50th edition of Loony Tunes, started originally to mock today's daily flood of nonsense about magical, mythical "invisible hands", mainly in the US media, as the result of a wholly imagined entity in academic economics from the Cold War ideological contests between competing theories of Soviet Economics, which claimed the superiority of planned economies (Oscar Lange, 1938), and the theories of modern-economics from folk like Paul Samuelson, (1948), who demonstrated the counter-proposition that was evident in practice, that market, mixed capitalist economies were superior at delivering higher living standards to tens of millions living in the NATO countries.  A lot of water passed under the bridge since 1948, and reflected in Samuelson's 20 editions of his Economics: an introductory analysis (McGraw-Hill), and as a result of the escape of a simple metaphor from Adam Smith's Wealth Of Nations into a mass misunderstanding among both economists of the highest calibre, including Nobel Prize winners, and others with less claim to being treated seriously, as shown in this modest Loony Tunes series.


John Dvorak at MarketWatch HERE

"After Siri, what can Apple do to boost sales of the iPhone 5 besides adding the halo of Steve Jobs and his invisible hand?
Eric Angevine writes for College Basketball Talk
The Invisible Hand concept is used by economists and Sunday talk-show pundits as shorthand (like what I did there?) for the benefits of self-interest. Here’s an out-of-context Smith quote that might shed some dusk on the subject:
‘.. he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”Obviously, the question here is “who is this He we’re talking about?” In this case (and here comes the basketball, I know you were wondering), He is Adam Smith. Not Adam Smith the revolutionary economic thinker, but Adam Smith the inconsistent but promising college basketball player.”
Dayton Daily News in short story by Rob E. Boley HERE 
“An invisible hand taps its fingers against her spinal cord.”
“Sometimes the Invisible Hand just cold snuffs out yer candle.”
BurlingtonFreePress.com  Brent Hallenbeck HERE 

It's a wonder to sit in a room and watch actors, set designers and lighting designers, all moved by the invisible hand of the director, delve into imagination you never knew existed.

Indian Express HERE 
When expert opinion was consulted, it was seemingly dictated by what the report calls the “invisible hand” of pharma companies, sometimes the testimonials echoing each other word-for-word.”
Daily Crowdsource Jonathan Moyall HERE 
“Crowd purists will argue that the “invisible hand” of the crowd guides us to the projects that are worthwhile.
The Independent Fiona Sturgess HERE
“... in the scrawled hand-written lyrics of “Isolation” (“Mother I tried, please believe me, I'm doing the best that I can”) that cleverly wrap themselves around the cube's four walls, complete with corrections, as if being written by an invisible hand.


Blogger airth10 said...

"......what can Apple do to boost sales of the iPhone 5 besides adding the halo of Steve Jobs and his invisible hand?"

The iphone should add the the invisible hand as one of its apps.

11:19 am  
Blogger airth10 said...

Even though Paul Samuelson distorted its meaning I think the invisible hand used him to promote the free market in any way possible, as the most viable alternative to Soviet style economics. The invisible hand was determined to show that capitalism was superior to its arch rival. If it took exaggerations to make the point, so be it.

What Samuelson made of the invisible hand may not have been what Adam Smith had in mind. But the invisible hand was its on entity. After Smith died the hand lived on, which meant it was free to take on any meaning it wanted. However, the invisible hand may have taken things a bit to far once it became the only credible economic system in the world. It grew puffy and aloof, imagining itself as being capitalism instead of just its guide. But like Humpty Dumpty, who made things mean whatever he wanted, it fell of its wall and nearly couldn't be put back together again.

Wealthy Nations are still struggling to put capitalism back together. But this time the invisible is aiding and not abetting.

1:56 pm  

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