let’s assume a can opener

Posted by anya on May 21st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized

Dear Economics,

I love you but right now you seem like the most ridiculous discipline of all. You assume that people make rational choices without any consideration of the ways in which these are constrained. I would like to let you know about choice. I first learned about it in a Women’s Studies course I once took – I expected to learn about “women” (as an analytical category) and what I learned about was choice. I learned that the choices we make are only as good as the frameworks within which we make them. And then, as life went on, I began to question choice even more. It seems to me that “maximizing utility”, the way you would want it to be, is rarely what people make decisions based on. Instead, it’s a mix of obligations and responsibilities and growing up and knowing how to act that make up choice. It’s not rational, it’s life. It’s what happens when you hope for the best and get what you least expected. It’s wedding rings and promotions and sickness and alcohol. It’s the yesterdays and expectations of tomorrow and the realities of today. But happiness? That’s rarely a factor. Not for most people, anyways. I hope you figure something out to fix yourself. Can’t you see we’re crumbling?


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