Economics: We’re Rational–Really

I’ve disconnected my television’s cable and started visiting bookstores regularly. The benefit is incredible as I find my frustration with the mindless programming is being replaced by the satisfaction of reading good literature and non-fiction.


One of my most recent finds is The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World by Tim Harford. In this very intelligent book, Tim asserts that there is an underlying rational economics to all human behavior. He examines behaviors that are both acceptable and taboo: Why are more adolescent girls practicing oral sex? Was no-fault divorce a good idea? How is the gay community dealing with AIDS? What is rational crime? What is rational racism? What is rational sexism? Tim is not afraid to examine any of these issues under the scrutiny of the economic microscope. Some of the insights are uplifting, some reveal tragic dilemmas.

I feel that The Logic of Life, Freakonomics and other economic books like it are more than necessary, they are essential in bringing society’s deepest flaws out into the open and offering us the potential to correct them.