Up-to-Date Lessons from Adam Smith
Adam Smith has taught me me that government policy has significant consequences for the function and net social/environmental results that are accomplished. He taught me the importance of maintaining a circumspect eye on government tinkering in the function of the economy, very much like how a computer scientist has to respect the machinery that he/she is working on. The machine will function according to the same natural laws. Unlike a computer, what is present in a society is only partially changeable. In this sense, a government could, theoretically and with the blessing of society, legitimately add or take away classes or types of people within a society. However, a government must obey the needs, wishes and moral properties of a given society as well as the laws of human behavior which give rise to a functional economy. It is checked by both the moral and physical imperatives and needs of a given society and by the natural laws which effect the quality of life that is realized by us, each and all, as individuals and as a collective. That said, a government can significantly alter the effects of an economy on the environment and on the society through changes in policy, law and enforcement which relate to the economy, the society and the environment.
For example, through having workers be paid in part through a profit sharing program, workers will be enabled to be paid according to the actual value of their work while not harming the company or the economy. Another idea is universal public or not for profit healthcare, which will ensure that people in society are health and are able to work without having the costs of healthcare unduly burden the masses and limit economic participation. Another way that government works to ensure good economic function is to ensure a healthy standard of quality from industries, such that the industry’s members don’t collectively lower costs through selling sub-quality goods and services. Environmental impacts also have to be maintained, and environmental stewardship has to be looked over and enforced by the government in order to make it so that businesses, through the course of their normal economic activity, don’t destroy the planet on which they live. Public education, with quality curricula that is relevant for the development and condition of the students is also in order from the government, so that the cost of education doesn’t make it be so it is unreachable for many students who are living on or below poverty.
A society without a government tending to it is simply destructive onto itself. It is corruptible to the whims of private individuals who are able to wield influence within the society, without legitimacy or accountability to the general public or any concern for the well being of the environment in which they are living. Their defacto power is limited by the environment and by the society itself, as always. The only difference between them and people with a particular brain type is that they yield destruction in the world, while the legitimate and authoritative brain types yields growth and positivity. The effects can be felt and experienced in the world around us.
To date, society has not been typically led by enlightened leadership, nor have the enlightened types have actually illustrated what is needed to be done so that anyone could potentially govern when they are long gone. The connection between positive and effective government and positive and effective social, economic and environment has typically been lost throughout the ages, and hasn’t been scientifically studied and replicated across cultures, such that society comes to expect and demand only that positivity and does not tolerate or accept the other forms of leadership in spite of their apparent abilities to derail and confuse the public’s sense perceptions of things. The universe is not a subjective place where one is free to do whatever. There are limits, there are natural laws and you break them at your own expense, if not physically, then in memory.
This is my main message to the whole of the society and to the social world.
And this is my warning and caution to those who would wield power in our social world.
Take it for what you will.
Think about it.