Econ 101

| Mon Oct. 13, 2008 1:07 PM EDT

ECON 101....Commenting on Paul Krugman's Nobel Prize, Matt Yglesias complains about the parlous state of public knowledge of economics:

In the public debate, my sense is that "economics" tends to be understood as mostly comprising a series of very simple models indicating the desirability of laissez faire (make it more expensive to hire workers by raising the minimum wage and the level of employment will go down — supply and demand, economics 101, QED) that leave it somewhat puzzling as to how this is even a field in which people do PhD-level research.

Actually, I think Matt gives the peeps too much credit here. For vast swathes of the public, their knowledge opinions about economics are approximately limited to (a) low taxes are good for the economy, (b) foreigners are taking away our jobs, and (c) Social Security is doomed. Frankly, Econ 101 would be a big step forward.

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.