Friday, March 19, 2010

Young Friedmans

The freaks (freakonomists?) who think the world can be explained by theories alone are getting excited about this:

What would the world look like if economists were in charge? In the meantime, a charter school organization in Arizona offers a glimpse at what the educational system would look like if economists were in charge. The BASIS Educational Group, run by two economists, requires every 8th-grade student to take a year’s worth of economics. Many BASIS students, who are all required to take at least six AP exams before graduation, go on to take AP Economics in 9th grade, and average a 4 (out of 5) on their AP exams. 

This is a great idea! We don’t have enough people running around wedded to the hubris of their economic thinking. Why wait until these kids are in college to turn them into brainwashed free-market zombies? They could be ignoring empirical data and reality right now!


  1. Economic thinking is about choices and resources, not worship of the market. Good economists--even Hayekian free-market ones--know that "the market" is only a clumsy shorthand for a whole world of institutions, riddled with bad incentives and uninternalized externalities, through which people decide what's best for them. What could be wrong with teaching our kids that?

  2. The problem is with the ideological slant of economics towards "free market" principles and conceits.

    As I recall, Milton Friedman advised folks to refer to public institutions of learning as "government schools," so that it was clearer that our government had an inefficient monopoly that the private sector could improve upon, blah blah blah.

    It seems like most economists have a severely biased opinion of the purpose and value of the public sphere. Maybe what we actually need are CIVICS COURSES. Imagine what the world might be like then!

    Note: to the Guerilla Post author, it was your comment above that brought me to your blog. Thanks for challenging this nonsense!