Before we delve into our first session, the “Fallacy of Composition: the Whole and the Part”, there are a few additional points about Economics that I would like to clear up.
To succeed and get an A in this course it is imperative that, as I seek to shed light on various policy issues and problems, you try to cultivate an objective and detached ability to see things as they are, regardless of your likes or dislikes. The fact must be faced that economic issues are close to everybody emotionally. Blood pressures rise and voices become shrill whenever deep-seated beliefs and prejudices are involved, and some of these prejudices are thinly veiled rationalizations of special economic interests. And you thought the air became electric when the topic of Hillary and the Donald came up. You ain’t seen nothing yet.
With that said there is only one valid reality in a given economic situation, however hard it may be to recognize and isolate it. There is not one theory of Economics for Republicans and one for Democrats regardless how hard they try to convince you. There is not one for workers and one for employees, one for whites and one for blacks, one for young and one for old.
When seen in the clear light of economic reality wishful thinking is bad thinking and leads to little wish fulfillment. Coupled with the fact that a little knowledge may be dangerous, too, it would appear that I have my work cut out for me.
From childhood days on, everyone know something about economics. This acquaintance will be both helpful and deceptive: helpful, because much knowledge can be taken for granted; deceptive, because it is natural and human to accept superficially plausible views. Yes I do have my work cut out for me.
Class begins on Monday. Don’t be late. Bring your thinking caps.
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