Applying the tools of economics can help you understand global and cataclysmic events such as wars, famines, epidemics, and depressions. But it can also help you understand much of what happens to you locally and personally—the worsening traffic conditions in your city, the raise you can expect at your job this year, or the long line of people waiting to buy tickets for a popular concert. Economics has the power to help us understand these phenomena because they result, in large part, from the choices we make under conditions of scarcity.
Economics has its limitations, of course. But it is hard to find any aspect of life about which economics does not have something important to say. Economics cannot explain why so many Americans like to watch television, but it can explain how TV networks decide which programs to offer. Economics cannot protect you from a http://
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis asked some Nobel Prize winners how they became interested in economics. Their stories can be found at http://woodrow. mpls.frb.fed.us/pubs/rgion/98-12/ quotes.html.
robbery, but it can explain why some people choose to become thieves and why no society has chosen to eradicate crime completely. Economics will not improve your love life, resolve unconscious conflicts from your childhood, or help you overcome a fear of flying, but it can tell us how many skilled therapists, ministers, and counselors are available to help us solve these problems.
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