By Francisco Gonzalez, JMI Development Director
Over the past week, my travels have taken me from Texas to Central Florida. This morning, I am in Tampa enjoying a neat view outside the window of the Sheraton Riverwalk in downtown Tampa. One thing I love about the Tampa Bay area is the many waterfront areas that flow around and through it–the way we human beings want to be so close to the water that we settle and build as close to it as we can get.As I peered out the window this morning, some rowers caught my eye as they glided past on the river below. A few blocks down, cars are racing by in many directions, jumping on ramps to various highways as they make their way to work. As I look out the window, I see people on the move.Two days ago, as I was flying back from Texas to Florida and my plane skirted the Gulf Coast, I had another really neat view. On that clear day, from 35,000 feet up, I could see hundreds of ships out in the Gulf, traveling in either direction. Almost all of them appeared to be freight ships, lined up, in motion, carrying who knows what, to and from their destinations.From the bird’s eye view I had from the plane to the one I have right now over the Tampa waterfront, it almost feels as if this was all planned. Those freight ships, the rowers on the water, and the cars on the highway positioned in precise places at precise times. They are people on the move, in pursuit of fulfilling some task – perhaps producing and moving the engine of our economy forward.But the more I think about it, the more I realize this is the “spontaneous order” of a free people pursuing their dreams, creating prosperity, and engaging in commerce. From my bird’s eye view, I could almost see the “invisible hand” that Adam Smith wrote about 236 years ago in The Wealth of Nations. No human “planner” could put this kind of design together so beautifully. But a free people, on the move, in pursuit of their own happiness, really do create an imperfect order where needs are met and lives are fulfilled. May we all carry on.