Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Utah State University Faculty Honor Lectures


The Faculty Association, Utah State University

Publication Date



To raise the question of economics under any title is at best to be accused of preaching to the converted, and at worst accused of preaching what every member of the congregation understands much better than the preacher. Since economics is a discussion of what people do day after day as they go about making a living, who doesn't understand all about it? Practically all adults do some kind of work, they get money, they spend money, they save, they borrow, they produce things, they sell things, they put money in the bank and draw money from the bank. They are, in short, practicing economists, all, and none of them needs a high powered theoretician to tell him when he is deficient in spending power, broke, or when he has accumulated a competence, become filthy rich. All thinking adults are self-proclaimed economic authorities. Biologists who cannot explain why the sap goes up the tree, geologists who cannot explain why we find oil in Utah when they said there wasn't any, physicists who cannot explain why -273 degrees is no longer absolute zero, doctors who have trouble with a common cold, Sociologists who cannot explain or prevent juvenile delinquency, and educators who are not sure what education is, none of these specialists shrinks from giving an off-the-cuff cure for inflation, deflation, the national debt, the dollar shortage, business bankruptcies, or discusses in a learned and succinct manner the glaring inadequacies of the Keynesians. He can provide the last word on any simple or complex economic issue. Only the economist is a modest, self-effacing fellow who admits there are two or three issues in economics that he doesn't thoroughly understand. He admits that maybe in economics, as in other disciplines, it is necessary to test and revise his hypotheses in the light of new evidence.


This work made publicly available electronically on August 5, 2011

Included in

Economics Commons