Books Dec 6, 2022 at 1:30 pm

A Scottish Thinker, American Politicians, and the Fuckery of Free Markets

Photo by Nicole Marie Photography



Most Americans view economics as the love child of two popular theories: Smith’s invisible hand and Darwin’s survival of the fittest. Basically, in the realm of distributing resources and who gets dubbed a winner vs a loser, you get away with what you can. And it’s not untrue.


Using an expletive to refer to an economic theory is sophomoric.


The part oft-forgotten is the phrase “well regulated” which should appear in front of “markets”. IMO, Adam Smith was very well aware of human nature and advocated that markets were a way of channeling human competition into a less bloody sphere, and by regulating that behavior, could achieve positive sum outcomes.


Building on @3, we should note that Smith had no love for capitalists themselves.

One of the reasons “Wealth of Nations” is so important appears right there, as the title. Until then, wealth was defined as land and/or money, so the wealth of a nation was some combination of land and the royal or government treasury. Smith created our modern definitions of wealth, which can even include pure intellectual property.

“…local oligarchs like Bill Gates, who see carbon pricing and offsets as satisfactory paths to decarbonization, despite plenty of local and global evidence to the contrary.”

So what? With the Inflation Reduction Act, the US government has put climate change as a national priority, funding many programs for decarbonization. That’s a huge loss for the Chicago School and Bill Gates.

As for title of “the worst influencer,” I would nominate another long-dead European writer on economics, whose pie-in-the-sky fantasy of how perfect life would (immediately and magically!) become once capitalism was overthrown continues to bother us to this day. The Stranger’s own Charles Mudede quotes obscure hipster Marxist economists by the basketfull, and one of the biggest reasons for dysfunction on the Seattle City Council is the senior member’s total dedication to Marx’s aforementioned fantasy.


@4 Pedersen is a Marxist?

You sure?


@5: Nice try.



Check out Kate Raworth's doughnut economics.


“… helps render a balls-to-the-wall, potentially bankrupting money pit like the SR 99 Tunnel appear a seemingly rational endeavor deserving public debt.”

Dayum, I knew the Stranger loves it some sore-loserism, but it lost the SR-99 tunnel fight a LONG time ago. The Chicago School helped to cause the tunnel’s revenue-lowering global pandemic? Wow, those economists really are evil!

(And it’s not bankrupting anyone’s potential, or whatever; as the linked article itself clearly explains, if toll revenues continue below projections, then the state will assume the remaining debt — thus raising the horrific spectre of all the state’s taxpayers having to pay for … a state highway. Madness!!)


In reading this blog, I would opine the author has a serious weed up his ass .... and little if any understanding of economics... which could be very useful and fundamental to writing a rant of this nature,.

I'd classify this as more of a millennial retake on how they think their life should be... you know an inflated sense of their own uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, and acute case of self-centeredness. --

Or... he may have pulled up a chair Muede ...., did some purple cush ... and went freaky at the key board.

The bottom line is Adam Smith was a good observer of human kind, economic forces and the very nature of same.... To decry that is to decry the voice of reason.

ps: The lame hatch job on Milton Friedman is a bit under the pier.... he is very accurate in his writing and depictions... and frankly is able to express same even to say a millennial.


I just want the number if the girl in the photo, she is hot. I am guessing Adam Smith's niece? Dang, she is hot. He is my representative for Mercer Island I think, he seems nice. I went to one of his thingy's the town hall dealie, I didn'T see her there, what is her name? Anyhow. I will definitely vote for him again because his niece is so damn cute!


@1 mix in
“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”
~ Alexis de Tocqueville
and the "temporary embarrassed millionaires" incorrectly attributed to Steinbeck.

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