Indeed. Sorry if I seemed preaching in my last, I didn't realize I was talking with a real economist (these days I only play one occasionally). Unfortunately, while working at a major NY law firm some 15 years ago, I lent my copy of Debreu to another lawyer, who had an undergraduate degree in economics. Never saw it again. I really should get another copy....
You're surely right about the difficulty getting the kiddies to understand the role of assumptions -- but, then, economists use assumptions like mathematicians, almost as axioms. Our assumptions represent intentional oversimplification. But, the kiddies who remain obdurate in the face of economic theory usually never much cared for mathematics, either.
The best comment on the study of economic theory I've ever seen came out of the introduction to the second edition of Alchian and Allen's University Economics, published in the early 70's:
[more or less] The economics most professional economists use in their work is the economics they learned as sophomores. All the work they've done subsequently through graduate school is to convince themselves that what they learned as sophomores is correct..
posted on 02/21/2003 12:54:53 PM PST
(Ceterum Censeo Mesopotamiam Esse Delendam)
Preach on not a problem. It is particularly amusing to read the free trade, federal reserve/national bank and gold standard threads here. Talk about a conglomeration of ignorance. You would think Thomas Jefferson had come back to life.
There are a few who do actually know something about the subject. But they are in a distinct minority.
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