January 5, 2008

It’s Saturday night and though there was once a time in my life I spent Saturday nights doing something exciting and personally enriching, I'm spending it reading books and thinking!

Maybe doing this IS as personally enriching and exciting as dancing Tango with exotic women, drinking in fancy night clubs, playing a competitive sport or other things. I guess it depends on my set of preferences.

I think economists have a hard time explaining themselves because they are not out to explain themselves, as they are here to:

A) make observations
B) gain understanding
C) to personally enrich themselves.

I think that when economists try to apply their observations and understandings to other people, they violate one of the conditions that make them economists: the assumption that people are rational. If they were inclined to make suggestions about what others do or should do, they violate the other condition Among the Econ: the assumption that no individual’s preference is better than another’s. To suggest a decision might be a form of placing a higher value on the suggesting party’s values than on the party receiving the suggestion!

Also, economists have their own preferences, and applying economics to one's personal set of preferences and decision making IS personal enrichment. It could be assumed that all people apply a sort of economics (whether understanding or misunderstanding is appropriate vernacular here isn't for me to dictate) to their decision making, but then the term economics might be defined differently than it is.

Perhaps economists share their observations because it doesn't make them any less well off, but for others gleaning some of the shared information, might be better off as free-riders of sort.

But, maybe somebody is worse off somewhere for it, I just don't think so!

1 comment:

Alan C. Earing said...

The above post is a response to:

"...why do you suppose economists have done such a bad job at explaining themselves?"