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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Brilliant quote about economics


I'm studying for exams, so I will be posting very little for the next week or so. I need at least 2 A+ out of 4 classes to get a $1500 scholarship, and an A+ requires some level of effort.

In the meantime, here's a brilliant quote about economics:

"If you want to learn about an airplane, the cheapest way to do it is with a model airplane. Maybe you go out and get a build-n-paint f-16 from your local hobby shop. It’s a great way to get details about the appearance and dimensions of a real jet fighter. Or maybe you go out and get a little balsa-wood glider, which is a great way to get an intuition for basic aerodynamics.

But every kid understands implicitly that F-16s are not built by snapping plastic chunks out of molded frames and gluing them together, just as every kid understands that you don’t go to the airport and get strapped onto a giant balsa wood trojan glider and hurled off of a bridge.

As you learn about mainstream economics you will be continuously urged by your textbook to apply the models you are learning to the real world, and you will be faced with constant reminders of the predictive power of these models. But the reason I’m standing here talking to you is to remind you, just as constantly, that every single morning, in offices from Wall Street to the IMF, economists are strapping entire populations to wooden planes and launching them off of bridges, throwing up their hands in helpless befuddlement at the inevitable grisly results, cashing their checks, and heading out for the golf course by 2pm.”

Spoken by a professor, actually. No, not one of mine, unfortunately.


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