January 22, 2012
WHEN IT COMES TO MAXIMIZING OUR OWN WELL-BEING, EACH OF US IS PROBABLY OUR OWN WORST ENEMY.
Michael W. Klein, Something for Nothing: A Novel (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England: MIT Press, 2011) ("Is economics useful for everyday life? Scarcity is the central economic challenge. The most common scarce resource is time since absolutely nobody feels as if they have enough of it. Economic theory has something to say about this, about how to allocate scarce hours. If the long-run benefit to your career of an additional hour spent working preparing for class, then, by all means, get that data set in order. If you have more fun (the common name for what economists call 'utility') watching one more movie than reading one more book, go buy that ticket and a box of popcorn, too. A well-trained economist like David Fox knows about these calculations and should be able to draw on this theory to make his life better. But there's a big difference between knowing what you should do and actually doing it.' Id. at 53.).