I’m pretty sure that I’ve posted this video clip on the invisible hand before. But I’ll be honest – I’m rapidly approaching my 600th post (by my calculations, I’ll hit that milestone on February 5th this year), so I get that feeling from quite a few things. Either way – I’m sure that my perspective on Invisible Hands has changed.
So the theory runs something like this: how amazing is it that without anyone having to do anything, resources just end up being allocated in an efficient way?
Or, to put it in layman’s terms: how awesome is it that I can just go to the supermarket and buy milk? Because I didn’t ask a farmer to breed a cow. And I didn’t ask him to milk it instead of slaughter it. And I didn’t ask for the milk to be chilled and pasteurized and packaged and delivered fresh to the refrigerator of my local grocer. It just happened without any planning or forethought.
It’s almost miraculous: like going on a road trip where the car refills itself and the sausage rolls appear in the backseat of the car whenever I feel hungry.
Of course, road trips, being subject to the same invisible hand, also demonstrate some of those qualities, albeit in a slightly more mundane form*. Unless I’m going to somewhere highly remote, there are petrol stations within range of my need to refuel, and they supply sausage rolls and fresh coffee when I feel like it, (give or take 20 minutes of travel time).
*and I think that it’s only mundane because we expect it.
For the record: the invisible hand is usually embraced until it takes jobs away from the expensive labour of first world countries and gives it to the cheaper labour in South-East Asia…