The Invisible Hand

Advocates of free market design have fallen in love with “that invisible  hand” long attributed to Adam Smith to describe the natural force that guides free market capitalism through  competition for scarce resources. According to Adam Smith, in a free market each participant will try to maximize self-interest, and the interaction of market participants, leading to exchange of goods and services, enables each participant to be better of than when simply producing for himself/herself. He further said that in a free market, no regulation of any type would be needed to ensure that the mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services took place, since this “invisible hand” would guide market participants to trade in the most mutually beneficial manner.

Well, that invisible hand can also “slap you upside your face” as they would say in the South.  Here is an eloquent statement about how nuclear power has fallen to the market theories without consideration of deeper and more important collateral responsibilities.

Read what Power Magazine has to say. 

Gee … we don’t trust the invisible hand with solar or wind but we are willing to trust it on nuclear … and perhaps even hydro?

The key in my opinion is this:  Crane said, “One thing I know is when we shut a nuclear plant down, it’s never coming back. Today, the way the markets are designed—New England, PJM—they do not take fuel diversity and resiliency into the capacity market design to the level that needs to be to maintain the resiliency of the system.”

Seems like a clear slap in the face to me.

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