Economic Allegories

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There are stories about economics, with a hidden or obvious meaning. I've noticed the meaning (or reception of the lesson) is dependent on the open-mindedness of the listener, as sometimes the lessons are about what is, not what some wish it was. But alas, the laws of economics are like the laws of nature: they don't care about your feelings.

Economic Allegories

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There are many unexpected consequences for everything we do. I had a minor epiphany for improving a medical device/process, that the heads of the company I worked for (Baxter) agreed would save lives, but they could never use because of medical liability. They had to practice defensive medicine, which is about protecting the company from lawsuits. For every action, there is an opposite reaction.... but in life (unlike physics), it isn't always an equal and opposite reaction. more...
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Increase the economic value of a cheat or lie, and you'll use them less often. Thus permission to do something once (or infrequently) will reduce the likelihood of you doing it, more than the impossible standard of pure abstinence. more...
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Milton Friedman popularized this allegory that explains the perils of the Broken Window Fallacy, in an amusing and more socratic way. Some refer to this by Shovels vs. Spoons. more...
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The Broken Window Fallacy is a fundamental concept of economics (and logic) about seen advantages versus unseen costs. Henry Hazlitt summed up the art of economics as not merely looking at the immediate consequences but the longer effects of any act or policy, and tracing those consequences not merely for one group but for all groups more...