Social science that analyzes and describes the consequences of choices made concerning scarce productive resources. Economics is the study of how individuals and societies choose to employ those resources: what goods and services will be produced, how they will be produced, and how they will be distributed among the members of society. Economics is customarily divided into microeconomics and macroeconomics. Of major concern to macroeconomists are the rate of economic growth, the inflation rate, and the rate of unemployment. Specialized areas of economic investigation attempt to answer questions on a variety of economic activity; they include agricultural economics, economic development, economic history, environmental economics, industrial organization, international trade, labour economics, money supply and banking, public finance, urban economics, and welfare economics. Specialists in mathematical economics and econometrics provide tools used by all economists. The areas of investigation in economics overlap with many other disciplines, notably history, mathematics, political science, and sociology.
We witness, in this marvelous off-the-cuff oration by the Nobelist honoree, the downfall of academia, the "too big to fail" conventionalism that is the death of free inquiry.
How do we know that? How did Mr. Kahneman define "reasonability"? He said he could not define it. So how does his "paternalistic libertarian" know that it is being reasonable when it "nudges" people to take the "correct" path? It doesn't know. What does that make it? Arbitrary--meaning that dissent is by definition illegal since questioning is the same as disagreeing--as in the case of refusing to subscribe to a dogmatic teaching of an authoritarian church. The church says you must believe this to belong. Even if the person says (like Karl Rahner advised), "I believe it to the extent it is true," the dogmatic authority must regard this as heresy and treason. Why? Because, as Mommy says, "There is no debate here." Why is there no debate? Because the authority cannot account for her claim of authority. So, "my way or the highway".
You can watch the faces of his audience as his argument unfolds, and take consolation from the sense that, though their institution awarded him honors, their consciences could not.
Kahneman opened the door to bringing fresh air into economics and then slammed it again. Let us start with a dogmatic teaching. What is it? It is a set of words. What do the words mean? Words have meaning according to convention, but in the actual conversation, conventions can be adjusted to fit new circumstances. Now we might start to see how markets function, and how governments fail.
People need accurate information in order to act accurately. They literally need to be told the truth by other people.
We need to see people more logically. For example, you cannot expect a man who is forced to live like an animal to behave otherwise.
We have to embrace and analyze people's natural behaviors and reactions without contempt.
To pretend that an unguided, chaotic life will magically afford someone a path to deep reason is an inexpressibly serious mistake.
Society is an effort - supported by an agreement made between a group of animals - to protect oneself from danger. That "selfishness" (I'd rather call it a "perspective") is balanced by the fact that no single man can provide himself with complete safety. One (wo)man cannot study and avoid the world's threats alone, nor can (s)he study the world's potential benefits without a great deal of assistance.
We need everyone's help to make the world better (read: less dangerous), and we need to tell them the truth in order to do it.