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Market Intervention: To Do or Not to Do? A Discussion on the Contradicting Treatise of Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes between the Self-Regulating Nature of the Market and the Necessity of Government Intervention Perhaps if there are any two individuals who had a tremendous influence on how economies should work, they would be Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes…
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Download file to see previous pages For Smith, the market will regulate itself through its “invisible hand” which the government and its regulatory power play no part. In his monumental work “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” or “Wealth of Nations” (1776), he argued that individuals pursuing their self-interest are actually good for the larger society. To paraphrase Smith, he contended that “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. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was not part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. (1776, 364). This idea of Adam Smith’s individual’s pursuit of self-interest to be good for society in general became the driving force of classical capitalist economies. This was however contradicted by John Maynard Keynes. ...
These two economists contradicted in a manner that Smith negated the role of government intervention in the economy by solely relying on the market’s “invisible hand” while Keynes believed that the economy will work at its optimum with the influence and intervention of the government. Analysis While these two economists made two contradicting explanation and suggestion on how economies should work, they are however both correct. For Smith, while it may sound as an oversimplified generalization that the economy is ruled by “market forces’ invisible hand”, this truth however cannot be denied. We just cannot break the law of market forces that rules the economy. Our own pursuit for our individual success has also been generally good for society for we can contribute more when we are individually productive. For Keynes, his economic precepts has never been truer today with governments intervening in the recent 2009 Financial Crisis to bail out companies to save jobs and the economy in general from depression. Contradictory ideas but both are true and only different on its implication on the market and the economy in general. Smith may have explained the harsh reality about the dynamics of the capitalist economy and accepted the fact if individual’s are left on their own, we will be always be driven by our selfish motive. According to Smith, self-interest is not necessarily evil as he contends that our pursuit for self-interest will actually make the economy work efficiently and will be good in the long run. Keynes however made an assertion that this is in fact “disastrous if we attempt to apply it to the facts of experience” and attempted to temper the selfish and disastrous ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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