The Best Thing an Economist Can Do

I am becoming ever more convinced that the best thing an economist can do is to talk to "average" people. These people want to help others but they often don't know how their good intentions can lead to unwanted consequences. However, I find that academic economists only pay lip service to the ideal of "educating the public". Most of them like to talk to other academic economists in a language only they understand and about issues only they and, maybe, some government agency, care about. And then we complain no one listens to us, economists. Even if someone tried to listen, he or she would not understand much. Ironically, we, who talk about efficiency so much, blame others for being efficient with their time by not using it on listening to those they can't understand.


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