“Assume You Don’t Need What You Need”

If you want to know how economists think, a good start is jokes about economists.

So, consider this classic about a physicist, an engineer, and an economist all stranded in the desert:

They are hungry. Suddenly, they find a can of corn. They want to open it, but how? The physicist says: “Let’s start a fire and place the can inside the flames. It will explode and then we will all be able to eat”. “Are you crazy?” says the engineer. “All the corn will burn and scatter, and we’ll have nothing. We should use a metal wire, attach it to a base, push it and crack the can open.” “Both of you are wrong!” states the economist. “Where the hell do we find a metal wire in the desert?! The solution is simple: ASSUME we have a can opener”… 

Cheap Tech Support (No Charge for Lecture)

What evokes that joke is what I’ll call the “anti-economist” bent of my college-bound son — and in-house tech support — towards any tasks on my Tech “To Do” list.

Me: Can you please install a backup printer on my home office PC?
Him: What do you need a backup printer for? You shouldn’t even need one printer. You should be going paperless, scanning all your old documents, converting your files to . . . ”

Me: Can you back up this financial information on a flash drive?
Him: “Flash drive?!?” That’s not the way to do it. Everything is already backed up on the cloud, which is a much better way to . . .”

You get the idea . . .  

See also, “Everything I Learned at Stanford Was Wrong (well, almost everything).”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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