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Economics

edited 2014-06-21 11:07:48 in Politics

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/give-and-take/201310/does-studying-economics-breed-greed ;



“The pernicious effects of the self-interest theory have been most disturbing,” Frank writes in Passions Within Reason. “By encouraging us to expect the worst in others it brings out the worst in us: dreading the role of the chump, we are often loath to heed our nobler instincts.”



I've always suspected that economics seems to attract the most selfish and arrogant among us. It's concerning that selfishness seems to be coded into the very curriculum itself, especially when the assumptions about human nature tend to ignore anything from the social sciences.


Moral of the story: Try to avoid getting stuck in a prisoner's dilemma with an economist.

Comments

  • edited 2014-06-21 12:00:19
    All that really matters is we could be friends~☆

    Yes it does /studying economics


    Seriously though one of the big things you learn in more than one class is learning the law is only important when you're looking for loopholes.


    But also economics (but really finance, especially finance) is the most fun non-JRPG game which is a terrible thing to say but it's true.

  • edited 2014-06-21 18:50:03
    if u do convins fashist akwaint hiz faec w pavment neway jus 2 b sur

    Honestly, I think that the conclusion of this article is ultimately reactionary as fuck, especially the "even thinking about economics makes you more evil" part.


    All types of education are inevitably a form of indoctrination - which is unavoidable, and not necessarily a bad thing in itself. So just like it's generally accepted (and true!) that studying law makes one think in a more rigid, dogmatic and legalistic way (hell, when I enrolled for law school the dean himself said in the opening speech that the actual point of the school is to make you "think like a lawyer" - I kinda freaked out), so does studying economy (liberal, capitalist economy - dominant in education and in practice) make you think about the world in general through the lens of the first principle of capitalist economics - self-interest is what motivates the world.


    But that doesn't mean that people need to think less about economics - in fact, we need to think more about them. It's really not that hard to grasp some basic inconsistencies in the way capitalism works, develop a systematic critical perspective, go forth and think about a viable alternative. This is in fact the embryo of economic democracy and a fair, self-managed system. The only alternative is to leave economics solely to brainwashed experts and plunge us even deeper in shit.


    In fact, just as I was typing this I saw a link to this in my Facebook feed, in another tab - http://thelittlebluebook.co.uk/


    (sorry, I had a problem with hyperlinking on this forum ever since switching browsers)

  • Some of those points are pants of head retarded, and it absolutely misrepresents the point Adam Smith made (and, consequently, the concept of rational self interest).


     



    Less charitable giving




    Giving money to a charity is an inefficient as fuck way to help people that need it. Hell, giving a beggar in the street 10 bucks is generally much better.



     


    Greater acceptance of greed:




    Ambition is supposed to be a bad thing now? I have no doubt that the question asked was not as straightforward.


     



    The researchers wrote that the “meaning of ‘fairness’… was somewhat alien for this group."



    And what, exactly, is the meaning of fairness? Everyone getting exactly the same? Fairness is such a nebulous and context depending concept, it's a really poor metric for everything.


     


    I do think behavioral economics should be more widespread, and that the concept of rational self interest is often poorly or even wrongly conveyed. But that's really hardly the problem of economics, economics just provide the tools for people to make better decisions according to their own interests. If you selected for other careers that provided with similar decision making tools (like, say, computer science and similar degrees), you'd probably get similar results.

  • edited 2014-06-22 13:25:25

    But that doesn't mean that people need to think less about economics - in fact, we need to think more about them. It's really not that hard to grasp some basic inconsistencies in the way capitalism works, develop a systematic critical perspective, go forth and think about a viable alternative. This is in fact the embryo of economic democracy and a fair, self-managed system. The only alternative is to leave economics solely to brainwashed experts and plunge us even deeper in shit.



    That's a really good point. Politicians can get elected on bullshit because few people examine them critically enough. Heck, people still think Stephen Harper is a good economic steward when he plunged the country back into debt.

  • edited 2014-06-23 04:49:24
    Gallina seráfica

    If you selected for other careers that provided with similar decision making tools (like, say, computer science and similar degrees), you'd probably get similar results.



    I tend to think that studying mechanical engineering has changed the way I think about stuff, I wouldn't be surprised if that was true for other careers, either.


    And a geometry course is the most fun non-Portal-2 puzzle game around.


    Also, I've been taking an interest in macroeconomics recently.

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