Friday, January 23, 2009

Standup Economist

Hamster running in a wheelPaul Solman: An economist comedian, who better to analyze our plight, at the micro level, individual consumers, and at the macro, the economy as a whole? Yoram Bauman asked us to feed him the following straight line.

If the U.S. economy were an animal, what animal would it be?

Yoram Bauman: I would have -- I would have to go with a hamster right now. And it's a hamster that's been running around its cage, you know, for maybe seven years. And it's tired. So, as a microeconomist, I look at it, and I think that the hamster needs some rest. Macroeconomists look at the hamster and think that the hamster needs some methamphetamines.

And I'm sure that they're right. But, after two years, it's going to be one ugly hamster. I mean, it's going to have rotten teeth. It's going to have like bloodshot eyes. It's going to be scratching itself all the time. You know, there's going to be a price to pay.

-- Yoram Bauman, Ph.D., the "Standup Economist", PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 14 January 2009

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