Economic Thinkers

Starting with Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations, continuing to Malthus, Ricardo, Keynes, Hayek, Friedman, Sen and others, the timeless ideas of economic thinkers provide understanding of the contemporary economy.

  • Invention, Profit and Economic Growth

    The Real Mother of Invention

    Oct 21, 12 • 801 Views • No Comments

    Saying that profit, not necessity is the mother of invention, economic historian John Steele Gordon starts his column in this week’s Barrons. His focus was the 18th century clipper ships that earned people like John Jacob Astor $50,000 for a single......  [read more]

  • Decisions Have An Opportunity Cost That Require Tradeoffs

    Nobel Matchmakers

    Oct 17, 12 • 599 Views • No Comments

    One of the first calls a new Nobel Prize winner might get is from Adam Smith, editor of NobelPrize.org. As you might expect, hearing his name, people initially wonder if the call is for real. Usually Mr. Smith does a quick interview and sometimes, if the......  [read more]

  • The Congress and the Deficit

    Big Bird’s Issues

    Oct 11, 12 • 425 Views • No Comments

    All the talk about Big Bird and federal funding is really about 2 much bigger issues. 1. Discretionary Spending With proposed spending in the Obama 2013 budget at 3.7 trillion dollars, a tiny proportion–between 1 and 2 percent, goes to the Corporation......  [read more]

  • For most economists, historians, social scientists, it is tough to avoid research bias

    Blame, Bias and Belief

    Oct 5, 12 • 311 Views • No Comments

    Having just begun The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, I wanted to share a wonderful excerpt. While this student is commenting on the origins of the First World War, his comments take us far beyond. “Indeed, isn’t the whole business of......  [read more]

  • Everyday economics and U.S. GDP

    Job Creators or Robber Barons?

    Oct 3, 12 • 534 Views • 2 Comments

    I have confessed before that I admire the entrepreneurs who have been called the robber barons. Carnegie and steel, Rockefeller and oil, J.J. Hill and railroads, Morgan and money. These men and others from their 19th century world competed lethally. On the......  [read more]