Closet Your Inner Economist?
By Bryan Caplan
Here’s some advice from Discover Your Inner Economist that I won’t be following:
Think of “the economics of the family” as The Truth That Dare Not Speak Its Name. If you are the economically informed member of your family, or perhaps even an economist, don’t flaunt it. Hide its universal nature or widespread applicability. Do not present economic wisdom as a matter of principle or a general way of thinking about life.
Frankly, I’m baffled. First, we “discover our Inner Economists,” then we go into the closet? I won’t do it. I won’t!
Yes, if you stay in the closet, some other people will like you more. But these people aren’t really your friends. If they can’t accept you for who you are, you need to move on. Perhaps one day, they’ll realize their mistake, and you’ll magnanimously accept their apology; but you can’t live a lie to spare the feelings of others. This is wisdom for gays and economists alike.
In fact, the case for being openly economistic is even stronger than the case for being openly gay. How so? Being gay isn’t for everyone; being straight isn’t “false.” The economic way of thinking, in contrast, is true whether people like it or not. Economic wisdom can, should, and must be presented as a general way of thinking about life because that’s precisely what it is.
Luckily for Tyler, he’s an out-of-the-closet economist and he’s never going back in. His readers should do as he does, not as he says.