invisible hand


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Invisible Hand

A metaphor for the free market. Adam Smith coined the phrase, which refers to the idea that in the pursuit of maximizing one's self-interest, one tends to maximize the interests of society as a whole, as if an invisible hand were guiding both. For example, a man may open a mechanic shop to make money for himself, but in the process he may hire otherwise unemployed mechanics and service otherwise broken cars, which then facilitates business for the rest of the community. Proponents of deregulation have used the metaphor to illustrate their points, though others, notably Noam Chomsky, have argued that Smith did not intend to phrase to imply a lack of government intervention.

invisible hand

a term devised by Adam SMITH to denote the way in which the market mechanism (PRICE SYSTEM) is capable of coordinating the independent decisions of buyers and sellers without anyone being consciously involved in the process. Smith held that as the ‘invisible hand’ maximizes individual welfare and economic efficiency it is the automatic equilibrating mechanism of the competitive market. See PRIVATE-ENTERPRISE ECONOMY.
References in periodicals archive ?
But contrary to the predictions of invisible hand theory, raising the minimum wage does not lead to layoffs or declines in job growth.
But then he concludes that in fact there is such an invisible hand at work if you think of it not as the aggregate of a lot of purely selfish decisions, but as the more complex operation of multilevel group selection, whereby competition between economic units encourages the growth of altruistic behavior within them.
The present study demonstrates that the invisible hand illusion can, surprisingly, be extended to an entire invisible body," he noted
The opening track Invisible hand twangs into existence, sounding more like mogwai than Death From Above 1979, you're waiting for the kick, the bit where Turbowolf roar into life and leave behind this pleasant strumming to knock your socks off.
There is, therefore, a need to restate Smith's invisible hand theorem with amendments and restrictions that need to be put on individual choice.
In many ways, these investments driven by the new invisible hand reflect the path taken by China recently.
Historical record quotes George Washington as saying, "No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the United States.
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.
Apparently policy makers in Washington no longer trust the invisible hand of the marketplace to maintain a vibrant, competitive industry despite overwhelming evidence that the market is working.
Logistics is an invisible hand waving a supply wand, summoning both fuel to till your tank and the tool to twist off that stuck connector.
Lal's earlier title refers to Adam Smith's turn of phrase "the invisible hand," which suggests the essence of classical liberalism.
However, it was almost as if an invisible hand of Incredible Hulk-strength reached out and grabbed hold of her tail.