We All Need to Think Like Economists to Save the Planet

In order to put the right economic policies in place, we need a generally well-educated public who understand the value of these policies in the first place.  

We need more economists, more people who have studied economics, who practice economics, and who do it in a way that doesn’t just enrich them personally, because they take the knowledge and try to make a buck or two. We need people to use that knowledge for the betterment of the world, for a greater good.  We need people who essentially want to change the system like, for example, looking at the way we treat the planet and try to figure out ways to make people pay for the full cost of their pollution.  


We need that on the one hand. We simply need an army of economists.  What economists also need, of course, is an army in the first place.  In order to put the right economic policies in place, we need a generally well-educated public who understand the value of these policies in the first place.  

It would take everybody taking one economics class. That is probably at least as important as having a core group of really committed economists who really know their stuff out there to try and make a difference as a group of economists.  What I would strongly urge everyone to do is consider economics to try to make sense of the world.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less