Monday, November 21, 2005

Invisible hands - another try

The "invisible hand" concept I am trying to illucidate I believe can simplify complex topics. So I am stating some examples of how visible cause and effect is often countered and is weaker than the much less visible but stronger indirect cause and effects.

Unfair dismissal legislation - direct (visible hand) effect - Employer sacks or lays off staff whenever needed increasing unemployment rate.
Indirect (invisible hand) effect - Unfair dismissal legislation scares the bijeepers out of employers and they underemploy increasing unemployment rate. Careful studies show that the indirect effects have significantly more influence to the unemployment rate than the direct effects.

Unilaterally lowering trade barriers - direct effects - increase in imports, decrease in exports = worse balance of payments.

indirect effects - medium term self balancing of trade - cheaper and wider variety of goods to population. Increased scope of competition.

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