prayer that underpins the economy

Name your favorite economist, and write a defense of your choice. That assignment was given to an apartment mate of mine in graduate school. Adam Smith, David Ricardo, John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx—none of them made the cut with my friend. To my astonishment, and I'm sure to the astonishment of his professor, the "favorite economist" he named was me.

My friend's defense, as I recall, spoke of "a disinclination to periodic acquisition of liquid assets" and "a judicious allocation of capital resources toward the procurement of housing stock." Or, to put it differently, since I never spent anything on beer, I always scraped together enough for the rent. I never knew what the professor thought of the choice and its defense—my friend was gone the next semester. And my unwarranted day in the sun as an economist was mercifully over.

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'IT'S NOT YOUR FATHER'S HEBREW BIBLE'
January 24, 2005
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