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The Ten Commandments of Economics

September 5, 2007

The story goes that Adamus Smith climbed down the side of the Ben Nevis mountain in Scotland with ten tablets in his hand, which had been given to him by the God of Econ.  The tablets contained the following commandments:

1. Thou shalt covet more than thou can afford.

2. Thou shalt make choices and bear their costs.

3. Remember that, all else equal, more is better than less.

4. Thou shalt not impose your tastes onto others.

5. Thou shalt not value your neighbour more than thyself, act with a purpose, learn, and be transitive.

6. Honour the margin.

7. Beware of the consequences that were not intended.

8. Thou shalt not invoke good intentions in vain, only results matter.

9. Thou shalt not not consider beneficial what is in fact a cost.

10. Remember the individual and keep it holy.

Some people believe that the tablets were in fact eleven and that Adamus dropped one on his way down. This is controversial, but the eleventh commandment is thought to have been:

11. Thou shalt not commit the four capital fallacies: composition, post hoc, naturalistic and reverse naturalistic.


From → Economics, Religion

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