Craig Newmark, guest blogging for Marginal Revolution (A job I someday hoped to be asked to do), has an excellent post where he points to an idea of Glen Whitman on the Two Things. Here is a brief outtake:
The Two Things
Glen Whitman, Cal State Northridge economist, presents an elegant idea: The Two Things.
A few years ago, I was chatting with a stranger in a bar. When I told him I was an economist, he said, “Ah. So . . . what are the Two Things about economics?”
“Huh?” I cleverly replied.
“You know, the Two Things. For every subject, there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.”
“Oh,” I said. “Okay, here are the Two Things about economics. One: Incentives matter. Two: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
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