We need more economists, more people who have studied economics, who practice economics, and who do it in a way that doesn’t just enrich them personally, because they take the knowledge and try to make a buck or two. We need people to use that knowledge for the betterment of the world, for a greater good. We need people who essentially want to change the system like, for example, looking at the way we treat the planet and try to figure out ways to make people pay for the full cost of their pollution.
We need that on the one hand. We simply need an army of economists. What economists also need, of course, is an army in the first place. In order to put the right economic policies in place, we need a generally well-educated public who understand the value of these policies in the first place.
It would take everybody taking one economics class. That is probably at least as important as having a core group of really committed economists who really know their stuff out there to try and make a difference as a group of economists. What I would strongly urge everyone to do is consider economics to try to make sense of the world.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.
If you are in the business of trying to convince a majority of Americans, you know, 60 votes in the Senate, for example, to try to do the right thing, you probably ought to be appealing to self-interest here, not self-sacrifice.