Commentary: Economics Made Too Simple

Economics has long been known as the dismal science, but I've often thought it more properly might be called the squabbling science. As they struggle to make sense of the world we live in, economists battle over the meaning of the latest statistics, wrangle over whose theory makes the most sense, and sift through warring analyses. Economists tackle thorny issues, such as how nations grow. And they tackle unusual ones, such as the economics of big-game poaching.* Still, even though their reach often exceeds their grasp, economists manage to explain, or at least to illuminate, a great deal about complicated events and circumstances.

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