Economics: Dismal No More Thanks to Thomas Herndon ’07

Thomas Herndon ’07 on The Colbert Report

Editor’s Note: Thomas spent the first week of June on campus speaking to students in a variety of programs ranging from economics to social justice and literature. He reconnected with friends and former faculty members and bowled over a lot of students with his brains, broad interests, history of social activism and his warm, approachable personality.

The Dismal Science is a term coined by Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle to describe the discipline of economics. Many say the term was inspired by T. R. Malthus’ prediction that population would always outpace food production, dooming mankind to unending poverty. These days,”economics” often conjures images of puffed-up people opining abstrusely about unimaginable amounts of money within a governmental or political context. Here’s our prediction: Thomas Herndon ’07, is going to up-end these moldy stereotypes. He will convince us that the study of economics is fascinating, that it possesses mathematical elegance and beauty and that it is a powerful front for progressive activism.

Like syllogisms? Here’s one: Economists are geeks; geeks are cool, therefore economists are cool.¬† Thomas is very cool.

Here are some links for Thomas:
The Evergreen Magazine, Spring 2013

The Paper That Almost Wasn’t
WSJ explanatory article 

Flaws Found in Study Favored by Backers of Austerity
On National TV Last Night, The Austerity Movement Became A Laughingstock

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