TODAY’S SPECIAL

invisiblehand2

“A flambé of wild-caught Invisible Hand on a bed of wild greens with an agrodolce of cash…” Invisible hand is a metaphor of the 18th century English economist Adam Smith for the godlike—supra-human—correction to the free market, if a human gets too greedy. Not being a theist/deist, I mean godlike in the sense that it is a promise never fulfilled.

Smith wrote that the rich are led “…by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants.” Elsewhere he wrote a rich person, “…by pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.” so sayeth Wikipedia and it is never wrong. Right.

“There is no intrinsic reason for the scarcity of capital.”
—John Maynard Keynes

It is not an excess (of god or goodness) that rules the market, it is scarcity of stuff more concrete. Too little of something raises its price and too much depresses it; be it an item, a skill, land, capital or labor. So what if a small band of miscreants can control a big portion of some of the above mentioned stuff, say capital, and they parcel it out in smaller and smaller amounts to increase its value relative to the other stuff, say labor; will they increase their share of the whole thing? You betcha.

“A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has
not sufficient capital to form a corporation.” —Adam Smith

 This of course means that non-miscreants, by attitude and opportunity alike, are getting poorer as miscreants get richer. Sound familiar? Funny though, that the capital gains of the current gang of miscreants were gotten by skimming off the top of an affluent middle class, which by said miscreants’ capital hoarding are being driven extinct. The goose came first, not the golden egg, and you know how that story ends.

“There is less difference than many suppose between the ideal Socialist system,
in which the big businesses are run by the State, and the present Capitalist system,
in which the State is run by the big businesses.”— G. K. Chesterton

What’s next in the trend; a descent into some kind of neo-feudalism? Or anarchy, even democracy? Probably the first, for a while at least, as we are not sufficiently downtrodden to think anarchy is a better state and democracy is not gonna answer the call. Democracy, in theory, could fix it, but as it’s shown here, government by the people for the people, etc. is just a waiter at Chez Capitaliste; sure, we pay his wages, but what he lives on is tips.

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