Adam Smith Revisited

The free market is dead. It was killed by the Bolshevik Revolution, fascist dirigisme, Keynesianism, the Great Depression, the second world war economic controls, the Labour party victory of 1945, Keynesianism again, the Arab oil embargo, Anthony Giddens’s “third way” and the current financial crisis. The free market has died at least 10 times in the past century. And whenever the market expires people want to know what Adam Smith would say. It is a moment of, “Hello, God, how’s my atheism going?”

via FT.com / Comment / Opinion – Adam Smith gets the last laugh.

Indeed. There is nothing new under the sun, at least when it comes to human behavior. Everything we’re seeing in the economy has been seen before, the solutions have been tried before, the outcome is known. Adam Smith wrote it all down in 1776 – no news here! But if you’re ignorant of history, I suppose this all comes as a great surprise – and I suppose you’ll make all the same mistakes that others made before. That sure looks like the path we’re taking.

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