Friday, February 21, 2014

Samuel Brittan's introduction to economics

A Swift lesson in the principles of economics at "An orthodox approach might start with supply and demand and the “invisible hand” and then go on to the complexities and controversies of modern macroeconomic policy. But an alternative might start with a quotation from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels , published in 1726. “Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together,” says the king of Brobdingnag. If he had been writing a century later he would surely been tempted to add “and economists” to his strictures on politicians."

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