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Economics departments have their problems -- which is why Liberty Classroom has an entire course critiquing a typical textbook, chapter by chapter.
But being "too capitalist" certainly isn't one of them.
According to students at Tufts University, though, that's precisely the problem.
One student complains that all she hears in her economics course is "profit, profit, profit." "We got so disconnected from the social side of it—that our economic system is supposed to benefit society," she says.
Someone hasn't been studying.
Profit is how a business determines whether it is serving society or not.
There are countless resources that can be combined in a countless number of ways, to produce a countless number of consumer goods.
How can a business know whether it's using scarce resources in the most value-productive way? And once it knows what to produce, how can it know whether it's producing that thing in a way that's least wasteful?
Profit ratifies the firm's production and allocation decisions. Loss encourages the firm to rethink the whats and hows of its production decisions.
This way, waste persists for as little time as possible.
"Theories like these," says an op-ed in the Tufts student newspaper, referring to the assumptions behind their economics courses, "regard individuals as able to make deliberate, calculated choices to serve their own interests, instead of seeing happiness as communal."
There is precisely zero in mainstream economics -- these kids even have me defending mainstream economics! -- that assumes people's happiness can't involve other people.
It's almost like these kids are searching for something to be offended by, instead of -- for a change -- shutting up and listening to ideas they've never been exposed to before.
How can the Tufts economics department improve? By being more like the economics department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, students say, which has "professors who focus on feminism and queerness in their economic research, teaching topics such as the economic and social benefits of legally recognizing queer marriages and the impact of fertility decisions and household work on the economy."
Translation: if what I'm studying doesn't affirm me and my prejudices, it must be invalid.
Thus we have the most closed-minded people in human history lecturing everyone else about openness and tolerance.
Our own courses on economics don't cover "queer marriages," but they sure do explain how the world works. Not to mention they smash the fallacies you run into all over your Facebook feed.
Haven't joined us yet? For shame!
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