Making light of the “Dismal Science”

An engraving showing a "dark and dismal v...

An engraving showing a “dark and dismal valley”. It is an illustration to the Icelandic legend of Gold-brow (Gullbrá). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The study of economics at the introductory level can be at times overwhelming, other times seemingly over-simplified and, almost always, depressing. There are many reasons for this depressing effect but a major one I think is the nature of economic news. Much of what we see in the media is too discouraging, too upbeat or just simply wrong. Policy and politics likewise can be depressing for students learning economics, after seeing how economics should work in theory the question always is “well why we don’t we do that?” The answer, frequently, is “politics.” In the words of Thomas Sowell, “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

In order to cope many economists (financiers as well) develop shields of cynicism in dealing with the dismal science; life is short, there is no reason not to enjoy it. This post’s ongoing mission will be to collect little anecdotes and bits from those [scarce few] economists with a sense of humor. Enjoy.

Standup Economist: Ten Principles of Economics

Standup Economist: Shit Happens, Economics Edition

Standup Economist: Hyperinflation in Hell

The Economics of Seinfeld

Doug Zongker (Google): Chicken Chicken Chicken: Chicken Chicken (Poking fun at professional scientific presentations, also power point and research paper)

Noahpinion: Econo Trolls: An Illustrated Beastiary 

Noahpinion: Seven Principles for Arguing with Economists

Long or Short Capital “Short this lemonade stand

I’ll update this periodically.

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