Margin Notes - Blog

A Prescription for What Ails Us

There’s a reason economics is called the “dismal science.” Most economists are never happier than when they’re predicting gloom and doom. Case in point – the recent book by Robert J. Gordon, a professor (of course) at Northwestern University. His title says it all: The Rise and Fall of American Growth.

Now, don’t get me wrong. As my novel A Prescription for the Soul makes clear, I’m not afraid to acknowledge America’s problems. I don’t stick my head in the sand and ignore reality. We definitely have some issues to resolve. But – as my title makes clear – there are other factors shaping a nation’s future than those that can be measured with numbers and formulae.

Stuff like spunk. Guts. Heart. They are the “goods” that shape Humanity, not the so-called “rational man” of economics.

Those “goods” aren’t important enough to be recognized in economics, and that’s precisely why economists are so wrong so often. They’ve managed to take people out of their equations. And, it’s the American people – with all of their irrationality and faults – who are my prescription for what ails us.

       January 21st, 2016