The scope of economics is all-encompassing. From ecology to psychology and political philosophy, and from mathematics to anthropology and law, nothing escapes the ambit (or ambition?) of the discipline. Economics is about how organisms, including humans, individually and collectively better or fail to better their lives. It is about competition, true, but also about remarkable cooperation; it is as much about high finance and far-flung markets as it is about ordinary men and women, as much about matter as about morals, and as much about altruism and charity as about grasping for power to twist economic, political, and cultural institutions to one’s own, selfish, greedy end. Economics is about the individual and collective choices we make and about the consequences these choices entail.
The columns – written monthly since August 1997, and irregularly since the mid-1980s – are first and foremost extensions of my classroom. I write and use them to teach, to help improve economic literacy, to put things into perspective, often simply just to argue a point, to inject data into discussion, and sometimes merely to have fun. A number of them have been co-written with students and, occasionally, with colleagues.
Along these precepts, Stone Garden Economics will continue to publish at least monthly. But I now invite students worldwide to join me in the writing of columns, ordinarily less than 800 words in length. I’d love to receive and (co)-publish columns from Uganda to Uzbekistan, from Uruguay to the United Arab Emirates. I am not interested in rambling rants or mere opinion; I am interested in evidence-based and polite, if pointed, argument. Email ideas to brauer.jurgen [at] gmail.com.
It would be a fine thing indeed if Stone Garden Economics were to acquire more—much more—of a student voice and become a global, all-things-economics blog reflecting the views of the young. After all, it’s the young who have ideas and energy, a history to learn from, and a future to build.
As for myself, born and raised in Berlin, I have lived in North and Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia. (“Lived” as in ‘rent an apartment, have a job, and collect a paycheck’.) Presently, I am a professor of economics at the Hull College of Business at Augusta State University in Augusta, Georgia, USA.
- J Brauer (14 June 2010)