The Theory of Dining Hall Sentiments

In 1759, Adam Smith coined the phrase “the invisible hand” in his The Theory of Moral Sentiments. People act in their own self-interest to benefit the entire society. Ok, sweet.

Say what you will about laissez-faire economics, but we at Middlebury should absolutely put Smith’s theory into practice when it comes to the Hobbesian state of nature that is our dining hall rushes.

It is in no one’s self-interest to go to Ross or Procteur at peak rush times, if you can help it.  Eating during a dining hall rush will make your life stressful, and make our little utopian community a little less utopian. No one is happy (including staff). So act in your own self-interest and avoid the rush.

In order for Smith’s invisible hand to work, consumers need market information. So props to dining Tsar Matthew Biette for filling us in on when the rushes occur (see below). Together, let’s improve our little utopia, and our own lives, by avoiding the rushes.


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