Thursday, January 22, 2009

Let The Economists Economize

We're in a right bloody mess. Yesterday, Paul Volker said in the Geiger-hearings that we need to spend several more trillion dollars to prop up the economy. As things are looking dismal, lets play a game to cheer us up. A reality game! Show it on Tee-Vee even!

Let's tell the economists (aka dismal scientists) that they have 1,000 days to solve everything. Since it is a game, let's take away their data. Let's take away their computers. Then they have 1,000 days to solve everything, knowing of course one will be voted off the island each week. . . or until all the problems are solved. Basic rule: they have to do it with out computers and it has to work.

How would they do it?
Top down?
Bottom up?
Side to side?

I bet if they actually had to think like their life depended on it, they could find a solution. Certainly harder and with more outside the box thinking than they are currently able to muster. Everything would be on the table. We would have to not be afraid. I am so confident, I believe they could solve the problem without even using a slide rule (but if they feel really strong about it, they can use them in the competition -- I mean Bush really set back the concept of being influenced by instincts by over a generation).

As you can tell, I am thinking of that famous poem:

Let the economists economize.
Let the dead bury the dead.
Let the dead baptize the dead.
Let it be.

From the mail:
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Below is the list of top 15 antitrust law professors (defined as a professor who has written at least two antitrust papers posted in the past two years) as measured by downloads on SSRN.

1. Damien Geradin (Tilburg University and College of Europe) 5953
2. David Evans (University College London and University of Chicago) 4860
3. Herb Hovenkamp (University of Iowa) 3420
4. Keith Hylton (Boston University) 2515
5. Spencer Waller (Chicago Loyola) 2294
6. Josh Wright (George Mason) 2253
7. Jon Baker (American University) 2176
8. Bob Lande (University of Baltimore) 2032
9. Randy Picker (University of Chicago) 1961
10. Steve Semeraro (Thomas Jefferson) 1327
11. Barak Richman (Duke) 1054
12. Daniel Sokol (University of Florida) 1048
13. Bill Page (University of Florida) 985
14. Tom Cotter (University of Minnesota) 923
15. Maurice Stucke (University of Tennessee) 899

Update: There are a lot of economists who have dropped out and done other things. The movie "The Visitor" is about an economist at the tipping point of becoming human -- you know, breakdowns that occur when the linear systems break down. We should study the lives and reasons they dropped out. What could we learn? I'll revisit this topic.

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