Q: Homo Economicus and Perfect Competition

If the rational, selfish “economic man” of mainstream theory does not exist in the real world, why do we study that model at all? After all, would it make sense for medical students to study unrealistic models of the human body for their training in anatomy? The same could be asked of the model of perfectly competitive businesses. Why should we cloud our understanding with such unrealistic models as economists?

Q: Is it moral to value the present more than the future?

Why should we use “discounting” to decide how much to spend to avert future catastrophes like climate change? Given the high uncertainty around climate impacts, as well as high uncertainty about future economic stability, doesn’t inter-generational justice demand that we follow the precautionary principle and take the strongest action possible while we are able?