Hughesair (Inflection Point)

Retired physician and air taxi operator, science writer and part time assistant professor, these editorials cover a wide range of topics. Mostly non political, mostly true, I write more from experience than from research and more from science than convention. Subjects cover medicine, Alaska aviation, economics, technology and an occasional book review. The Floatplane book is out there. I am currently working on Hippocrates a History of Medicine and Globalism. Enjoy!

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Location: Homer, Alaska, United States

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

The magic Hand

 Many refer to Adam Smith’s “magic hand” as an excuse for greed. In his book Wealth of Nations, Smith favored free trade, division of labor and manufacturing as well as the self regulation of self interest. However, Smith cautioned against the potential harm to labor as early as the third sentence of his book and extensively so in his last revision. Most economists in support of our laissez-faire classical economics, have not actually read or understood Adam Smith; it is difficult reading. Smith was horrified by the poverty and capital divergence from the industrial revolution. Smith was a moral philosopher. His later book, Theory of Moral Sentiments, drives home the problems with wealth transfer and poverty resulting from the very thing we did with globalization. 

America’s success with freedom and our own style of laissez-faire capitalism succeeded wildly largely due to seemingly unlimited land and a strong Jewdeo-Christian moral and work ethic. Dispute the evils of slavery, some banking barons, exploitation of labor and a Great Depression, we had freedom and a moral guidepost, but not anymore.

Seventy years of Cold War, and communist subversion, lead us step by step to accept tenets of the Communist Manifesto: no religion, no marriage and a rejection of property, profit, nationalism and freedom. 

Yes, we have problems with greed, oligarchs and poverty, even over population, but as with most problems, education offers the greatest marginal return, not ideological subversion as in the past, but moral sentiment, citizenship, history and science. Put the Ten Commandments, or the Eleven Fold Path, even AA’s twelve steps for that matter, on the schoolhouse and courthouse steps. According to some, it will take 20 years to purge a new generation of the communist brainwashing and restore a moral perpetuity, a containment of greed and a spirit of cooperation.


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