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Gongol.com Archives: August 2004

The American Way (8.7.2004)
If a Tree Falls in the (Economic) Forest and Nobody Hears It...
Researcher writes, "[M]ost economists agree that the profession and its members are ineffective at communicating with the lay public." My question: If I earned an undergraduate degree in economics, may I call myself an economist? I think of myself as one, and I certainly try to bring economic thinking to the lay public during my radio show. I'm even working on a book deriving from this subject. What does a person like me -- one who is very much interested in the public-policy implications of economic thinking, but who is in the private sector and not the academic -- do to help bridge the gap between what is studied and what is applied? Few people seem to get into economics unless they really, deeply care about what it can do to help people, yet as the article indicates, most seem skeptical that they're having the desired result. I'm taking your suggestions: Tell me what I can do to help shape public policy with economic thinking. Can someone like me be considered legitimate enough within the economic community to be useful?

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updated 8.2004