Wednesday, November 02, 2011

So simple, even kids can do it

Trick-or-treaters understand that exchange augments material wealth -- even when nothing new is being produced. Stuff ends up where it is most valued. (It gets even better when there is production by specialists.) This NPR report indicates that 11-year olds readily traded Snickers for Smarties. (H/T The Browser) As fas as I could tell, no econ 101 textbooks or professors were involved.
Will these trick-or-treaters forget if/when they become politicians or lobbyists or talking heads? Yes, they will. Tyler Cowen has noted several times at his blog that public choice economics is one of the most underrated/ignored fields. Of course. Can we think of any other approach that has as much to say about the everyday politics, whether national, state or local -- or international, that we see or hear about?
Lisa Schweitzer worries about the $98 billion tab that even the advocates now attach to California high-speed rail. How much support will the new math cost them? Not much. I put my money on the predictions of public choice economics.