Ye of little faith: rereading my blog posts reveals that I accurately fit this description when it comes to economics. While I feel I understood the major principles presented throughout the course, my posts were often skeptical of the claims of our class discussion, readings, and others blogs.
In many of my posts where I questioned our authors, a major premise I took was that rationality cannot account for the diverse, whimsical, and unknown actions of actors within the paradigm of law and economics. While true that even I cannot know that all of my decisions are efficient, (granted, sometimes I don’t even care if they are) I failed to understand that economics does not claim to say what individuals rationally pursue, only that they do in fact act in a rational manner. It took a thorough reading of Stearns and Zwyicki during my preparation for the final to finally understand that key axiom. Additionally, while the most boring, the Public Choice text was easily the most informative, grounded in law, and in-depth analysis of our texts. I feel conceitedly proud that I was finally able to understand the text that offers a rich amount of content; in fact, It was a primary resource for my answer to our 4th final question.
A second major difference between my posts early in the semester and those as of recently has been their length. Particularly in the final three weeks, many of my posts approached essay length. Part of that can be attributed to the fact I was writing them earlier in the night and part because I simply desired to offer a more complete argument. As other posts became more advanced and analytical, mine in turn became that way, perhaps because of my competitive nature.
A third aspect I enjoyed about the blogging experience was being able to combat argument I did not agree with, with my own arguments. If I were to engage in the blogging experience again, I would enjoy first knowing the names and faces associated with each blogger to help put a face to a post, and secondly, engaging in a little more classroom debate based on our blog. Doing so would have shown that although there are some economic principles extremely hard to refute, others as just as contentious, ideological, and diverse as my peers who support them.
Ultimately, my blogging experience has been good, yet I would not purposefully engage in writing biweekly blogs again (although I am still reading an occasional post from the “experts” blogs). I constantly find myself questioning the assumptions of the situations around me and ask where the incentives, efficiency, and value is. Economics has turned out to be something much different than I thought it would be at the onset of this course and its understanding in U.S. law can be used to possibly create a more efficient system, for the betterment of all—or should I say for the Kaldor-Hicks efficiency of all?
As much as I enjoyed this course, I feel that a “regular” economics course that did not have to factor into government may have more closely aligned with my personal views although probably perhaps less interesting because of it. Regardless, I have sincerely enjoyed this class; the readings were engaging, discussions interesting, and writing critical. I am eternally grateful for the advice I received to take Dr. Simmon’s course within the economics department over the same (number wise, not difficultly nor content) course offered in political science. It has truly effected my view of the world around me.
Thanks for the great course! Thanks to my fellow students! I hope to further my understanding of economics this summer by reading a few books. Any suggestions?