If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to sound like an economist, please remember the following…and do send in your own suggestions.
Top Ten New Year’s Additions:.
- When you are at an AMC theater deciding among the 100+ selections in the Coke machine, you might worry about choice fatigue
- Explaining the financial hardship experienced by a soybean farmer during the trade war, you can refer to negative externalities.
- When asked why we have done nothing about Social Security’s trust fund running out in 2035, you can reply that Congress’s opportunity cost is too high.
- Knowing that the Dow rose 22% during the third year (2019) of the Trump presidency, you can ask if it was correlation or causation.
- Feeling recline rage when an airline seat tilts into your space, you can point out that it occupies the private property you rented for the flight.
The Original Top Ten List
- Whatever the question, always answer, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
- Defend a decision by declaring, “It was worth the opportunity cost.”
- Whether you like or dislike government, point to, “The power of the market.”
- Explain a love of low prices with, “It’s the law of demand.”
- Explain high prices with, “It’s the law of supply.”
- Preface a position with, “on the one hand…but on the other…”
- Justify your Thai T-shirt, Japanese camera, and Sumatran coffee beans by repeating, “comparative advantage, comparative advantage…”
- When asked, “How are we doing?” just cite the GDP, CPI, and S&P.
- Know that the size of the pie has nothing to do with food.
- And finally, the most dependable way to “think economically” is to remember that, no matter what the topic, “It’s about the economy…”
Here is one I got from Kevin Denny (Thank you!):
- To reject any inconvenient fact, “The econometric evidence is not clear on this.”