A Brief History of Economics


Two weeks in a row now I’m doing a blog post on the upcoming feature story in the NY Times Magazine. This won’t become a habit–they get plenty of attention on their own. But it’s such a good article on such a dry subject that most people know so little about that I just have to share.

We, as a nation as well as individually, are feeling the effects of a global economic meltdown at present, and will be for a while yet. Many of the most prominent and respected economists in the world were more wrong than Celine Dion singing “You Shook Me All Night Long” when it came to how bubblicious the world economy really was. If you want to know why, and you want to know the names of the people who were the biggest cheerleaders for the bubble, read the article–Krugman names names.

But the bigger point he makes is this (and man, am I paraphrasing): if someone promises an elegant solution, make sure that’s your wallet in your pocket, because no market will ever be elegant, especially if it resembles the natural world.

Oh, and sorry for the Celine Dion link. I won’t do that again either.

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →