The Good-Citizen Economist

by Don Boudreaux on June 27, 2012

in Economics, Myths and Fallacies, Seen and Unseen

I summarize here my understanding of how the economist can best, as an economist, be a good citizen.  Hint: it involves tireless attempts to chip away at the Everest-sized mountain of “man-in-the-street” myths that wildly distort the public’s understanding of the workings of the economy.  Chief among these myths is the notion that the key to economic prosperity lies not in attending chiefly to the long-run interests of consumers but, rather, in attending to the short-run interests of producers – the false notion that the ultimate point of consumption is to stimulate production rather than the understanding that the ultimate justification for production lies only in the consumption it makes possible.   This myth is made especially pernicious because it is so politically convenient for office-holders and seekers.

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