5/20/10

Beware, selfish Free Market Types, Adam Smith Isn't the Ally You Really Want


Beware, Selfish Free Market Types, Adam Smith Isn't the Ally You Really Want

Amartya Sen corrects the Wall Street Interpretation.


Here's an excerpt:

The typical understanding of The Wealth of Nations has been
constrained, to the detriment of economics as a subject. The neglect
applies, among other issues, to the appreciation of the demands of
rationality, the need for re cognising the plurality of human
motivations, the connections between ethics and economics, and the
codependent rather than free-standing role of institutions in
general, and free markets in particular, in the functioning of the
economy.

... Smith argues that while "prudence" was "of all virtues that which
is most helpful to the individual", "humanity, justice, generosity,
and public spirit, are the qualities most useful to others".

The full piece is here:

http://www.newstatesman.com/ideas/2010/04/smith-market-essay-sentiments

2 comments:

Alex said...

Thanks for the heads up on this. The juxtaposition of Smith and Keynes as nearly polar opposites by the corporate media and ideologues is a source of nearly constant frustration. Not that they'll pay attention to Sen's reasoned explication, but it will certainly help me in my quest to stymie crappy cocktail conversations.

hilde said...

Thanks. Go head to head with drunken wingnuts! Yes! At the very least, they should be made to see their hero is a bit of a caricature they themselves have constructed.