In the previous post “Economics and Physics” I briefly explored why the basic explanations of physics are hard to understand and why the basic explanations of economics are easy to understand. Physics is called a “hard science”. I believe it is hard in the sense that advances in physics are made by supremely intelligent people and even comprehending them requires a good deal of training and intelligence.
Physics is also hard in that it is not some soft and squishy, namby-pamby whatever goes kind of nonsense, unlike in some other intellectual enterprises where people just make up stuff as they go along.
This is a continuation of the brief piece about what’s wealth and where does it come from. Wealth, defined broadly, is important to us because it’s useful for our material well-being. Material well-being is not an end in itself but it is instrumental in providing the irreducible basis for our happiness and therefore it is a means to all other higher human aspirations and goals. Without a sufficiently wealthy foundation, it is hard if not impossible to live in peace and harmony with oneself and with others.
Excellent profile of Paul Krugman in the New Yorker by Larrisa MacFarquhar. It is long and interesting. A few excerpts below the fold. This is a must read if you have even a passing interest in economics. Economics is about people and it is done by people. Among contemporary economists, Krugman is as good as they come. Continue reading