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I was teasing my brother that he was penniless, homeless, jobless. Right now in his life, racism isn’t the central highlighting force: it’s the world of work and economics. It doesn’t mean that he isn’t influenced by racism, but when he wakes up in the morning the thing that’s driving his world is really issues of class, economics and power as they articulate themselves.
A colleague saw the same model-calibrating the elasticity of demand facing a Cournot oligopolist as a function of the number of firms in the industry–described at the University of Chicago and at M.I.T. A Chicago economist derived the formula and said, Look at how few firms you need to get close to infinite elasticities and perfect competition. An M.I.T. economist derived the same formula and said, Look at how large n has to be before you get anywhere close to an infinite elasticity and perfect competition.
My mother and my father taught me to look at the actual problem, not the face of it, not the veneer of it. So for me, I was never – I was impressed that it – racially, I was impressed, right, but now in America it’s about economics, and it’s been about economics, and honestly, everything’s been about economics since I don’t want to say the beginning of time, but it’s been about economics for a long while.
Whether we like it or not, it is a fact that economics cannot remain an esoteric branch of knowledge accessible only to small groups of scholars and specialists. Economics deals with society’s fundamental problems; it concerns everyone and belongs to all. It is the main and proper study of every citizen.