It’s Econ 101!

You know what phrase you never hear in defense of an argument? “It’s Psych 101!” Or, “It’s Sociology 101!” Or, “It’s Music Theory 101!” You know why? These are all introductory courses. Attending these classes in no way confers even a wisp of expertise on the student. Maybe it’s me, but if I’m having surgery, I want a doctor who has completed medical school, an internship, a surgical residency and years of actual experience in my particular procedure, not just some guy who sat through Biology 101.

Yet I cannot count how many times I’ve heard someone defend a trinket of conventional economic wisdom by rolling their eyes and exclaiming, “It’s Econ 101!


Tell me “It’s Econ 486 (Econometrics II)” and you might give me pause, given that I lack the math chops to make heads or tales of advanced econometrics. But Econ 101? Really? That’s your guide? I know our nation’s economic policy sometimes looks like its been designed by beginners, but that’s not exactly something we should strive for.

So please, stop trying to explain to me how markets work based on your cursory understanding of an introductory text that you read (or skimmed) 30 years ago between bong hits and keg-stands.



David "Goldy" Goldstein has written about politics for The Stranger, The Nation and the Huffington Post. He hosted “The David Goldstein Show” on Seattle’s news/talk 710-KIRO from 2006 through 2008, and has been pissing off readers at his blog for more than a decade.