What’s Wrong with Economics? It Ignores the Pogo Principle: 'We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us'

The Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 1-20, 2012

24 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2011 Last revised: 19 Apr 2012

See all articles by Jerry M. Evensky

Jerry M. Evensky

Syracuse University - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 21, 2011

Abstract

The piece begins with the proposition that the economic perspective on human activity must reflect the fact that human beings transact in a world defined for the actors by social norms. An analysis of the crisis of 2008 is offered as a demonstration of the value of adopting such a broader perspective. Part two offers a historical model based on Adam Smith’s Moral Philosophy of such a broader analysis. The piece closes with the case that the history of ideas offers alternative perspectives on the questions we explore in economics today and thus can serve as a valuable resource for constructive skepticism of the current discourse.

Keywords: Social Norms, Ethics, Adam Smith, Crisis, Recession, History, Distribution

JEL Classification: A1, B1

Suggested Citation

Evensky, Jerry M., What’s Wrong with Economics? It Ignores the Pogo Principle: 'We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us' (June 21, 2011). The Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 1-20, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1904409

Jerry M. Evensky (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - Department of Economics ( email )

110 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
United States
315-443-5863 (Phone)
315-443-3717 (Fax)

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