The first two chapters of thb book have introduced you to the ideas and methods of economics. We are now ready to get to work. In the next chapter, we start learning in more detail the principles of economic behavior and economic policy.
As you proceed through this book, you will be asked to draw on many of your intellectual skills. You might find it helpful to keep in mind some advice from the great economist John Mavnard Keynes:
The study of economics does not 9eem to require any specialized gifts of an unusually high order. Is it not... a very easy subject compared with the higher branches of philosophy or pure sdence? An easy subject, at which very few excel! The paradox finds its explanation, perhaps, in that the master-economist must possess a rare ojwttmiin»« of gifts. He must be mathematician, historian, statesman, philosopher—in some degree. He must understand symbols ami speak in words He must contemplate the particular in terms of the general, and touch abstract and concrete in the same flight of thought. He must study the present in the light of the past for the purposes of the future. \'o part of man's nature or hi» institutions must lie entirely outside his regard. He must be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous mood; as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, yet sometimes as near the earth as a politician.
It isa tall order. But with practice, you will become more and more accustomed to thinking like an economist.
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