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?
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?
Is GDP a sufficient measure of economic well-being? Why don’t we subtract social and environmental costs of business from GDP?
Should the financial system serve as an engine for speculative profits, or should it serve as a well regulated public utility whose end is to promote the economy’s productive capacity?
Why is there nothing about Islamic economics in our curriculum?
Should we slow down fast money with a Robin Hood Tax?