HT: Slate, via Paul Krugman
Adam Smith’s analogy of the invisible hand has probably done more damage to free market understanding amongst the general populace than all other causes put together, including myself and people who write letters to the editor.
The very first panel gives it all away. ‘If it’s invisible why can we see it?’ The visible hand, of course, is the hand of government. ‘Never mind that – just run’. Fact-free and logic-free.
Jeez – lighten up you guys.
Hey, I like This Modern World. I was just sayin’.
Lighten up? What an absurd suggestion. Are you sure you’re an economist? ;p
Amuzing enough. Though (as Sinclair says) it doesn’t make sense.
Geez what a hypocrit Nicholas!!
The best indicator of acolytic cant here is Krugman as hero!?
P.S Have been a personal admirer of Krugmans academic work for years but this post … nah …. bullshit ….
If it encourages more people to distrust economists, that’s probably a good thing.
What I’ve noticed is most people believe in the magic of the “free market” when it suits them, and then conveniently stop believing in it when they happen to decide that they want a different outcome. Plenty of people have been predicting that the USA can’t float on a sea of debt forever, just read the many gold-investment articles going back to the Clinton era. No one knew exactly when the bubble would burst, and no one knows exactly why gold prices haven’t jumped up in response (other than the theory of manipulation, or Steve Keen’s theory of deflation, or it’s gonna happen real soon now).
Is it rational behaviour to collapse the US banking industry? Well the industry is rotten to the core, and for years has been selling toxic securities that border on outright fraud (and the US government has clearly declared that no attempt will be made to clean it up nor will the fraudsters be taught a lesson). The invisible hand is all the honest working folk have, they sure have no reason to trust either the bankers or their elected representitives.
yes lighten up.
It is a cartoon for heaven’s sake.
I thought the Kruggers imposition was quite cute.
It is humour gentlemen not an instruction for students in economics
Tel at #7 said: What Ive noticed is most people believe in the magic of the free market when it suits them, and then conveniently stop believing in it when they happen to decide that they want a different outcome.
Sorry for not being light enough, but as I’ve pointed out over at Quiggin’s blog, very few economists “believe” in the free market, and certainly do not make policy on the basis of free market ideology. This cartoon simply plays on a Puseyesque misunderstanding of economics. Its an amusing way of playing on that misunderstanding, but that doesn’t save it.
how many times is humour actually based on the literal fact.
Some people have no funny bone at all
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