Market Power

Musings by an academic economist on the power of markets and the power over markets.

Friday, April 08, 2005

How to Kill a Conversation in One Easy Lesson

Several months ago, I went to a dinner gathering with my wife. I talked to some of the guests, one of whom was a public school teacher. She asked what I did for a living and I told her that I taught at the local university. She really perked up at that, thinking she had found a kindred spirit.

Then she asked me what I taught. I told her "Economics."

I might as well have told her that I bullied elementary schoolchildren, defecated in public just for fun, and kicked puppies. The look on her face was very similar to that on my late father-in-law's face when I told him I was going to marry his daughter - a look that said "oh $h!t."

Yup. If you want to kill a conversation, tell people you are an economist. What's that, you say? You don't like your blind date? Tell him/her/it that you are an economist. As John Chilton says, "Economics is Potentially Hazardous to Your Social Acceptability."