Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Teaching Economics Through Parables

Paul Krugman flags a Matthew Yglesias post on Slate and then points to a column Krugman wrote in the past. Both are parables and simplistic ones at that. The result is we learn stuff we couldn't have learned if we weren't up with the jargon and math used in the economics field. That's very helpful, and not everyone can do it.

Visit this Krugman post, then read this Yglesias post, then read this Krugman Slate article from 1998 (yeah, Krugman has been around, and I've been reading him since his Slate days in the 1990s).

The point here is actually several:
  • Yglesias explains technological progress and deflation quite well.
  • Krugman demonstrates that he's been really, really into these things for a long time, especially the part about explaining things simply and the virtue thereof.
  • Smart people can bamboozle you while being bamboozled by themselves, in spite of how serious, even well-intentioned, they are.
  • Smart people can bamboozle you because they can, for political or personal profit.
I threw that last one in, but it's relevant to the misuse of economics in political discourse.

Ted Cruz in happier, more honest times.

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