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Adam's Hand

Once upon a time, 1776, Adam Smith wrote the Wealth of Nations, creating many of the principals of modern economics, and giving birth to a famous son, The Invisible Hand. Mr. Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher who accomplished his life’s work during the industrial revolution before the invention of, the cotton gin, car, and even the cell phone.

The birth of Mr. Smith’s famous son occurred when he wrote, “By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and 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. … By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.

How does the invisibility of “The Hand” help promote the betterment of society without the knowing participation of the self-interested individual economic actor? Does the Hand come from the invisible will of God and her love of humanity? Is the Hand an unconscious, therefore invisible, tribal survival mechanism? Could the Hand be an unconscious effect of culturally learned moral principals? Enough questions about invisibility, the good works of the Hand can be seen, that’s what really counts.

As a young Hand, living at home with Mr. Smith, the Hand moved capital and labor toward the overall benefit of the local community from which capital and labor originated. This was a natural thing for the Hand to do, his family was local and there was considerable bonding between Handy and his family.\r\n\r\nAfter Handy moved away from home he began to make his own way. Handy, Mr. Hand now, after spending many years as CEO of a major marketing firm, is sitting on the board of directors of the International Chamber of Commerce. He has changed his message and insists he always, not just frequently as his father claimed, is creating the good, true, and beautiful.

Mr. Hand is currently promoting the “Free Markets” in the United States as the best example of his work. He is particularly proud of how capital is moving into the U.S. political system. Resulting legislative victories have set the Hand free from tyranny at last.

Eliminating taxes on inheritance and dividends is causing more capital to accumulate with fewer individuals. With capital less widely spread throughout the population, the economic system is more efficient because Mr. Hand has fewer decision makers to influence. Additionally, removal of ridiculously burdensome environmental and worker protections has freed business from wasting time and resources trying to intentionally create the greater good, Mr. Hand’s job anyway, at the expense of profit.

Mr. Hand’s favorite accomplishment, by far, was personal bankruptcy reform. This has finally corrected a dangerous market imbalance between supplier and consumer by allowing corporations to avoid paying pension obligations through bankruptcy, while making sure that individuals can’t use bankruptcy to escape their god given obligation to pay off their credit cards. This is important because it insures that the little guy pays his fair share to the corporations that are creating all the good in the world. What could be more good and beautiful than that?\r\n\r\nThings have been going well for Mr. Hand lately but there are still some worries, particularly recent failures of invisibility. Dick Cheney got it right with the Energy Task Force, keeping its details invisible from the public. The only improvement suggested to Mr. Cheney, by Mr. Hand, was “next time just call it National Security and keep it completely invisible, can’t let the enemies of freedom get the upper Hand, chuckle, chuckle”.

In a recent talk to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Mr. Hand urged the attendees to get the invisibility problems fixed as soon as possible. Mr. Hand told an appreciative audience “This Enron thing, the Downing Street memo, Scooter and Tom getting indicted, the Abramoff deal, are all way to visible. Remember how visible the Great Depression was, if we could only have kept that quiet, we would never have had the New Deal.”

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