“Mankiw’s 10 principles of economics, translated for the uninitiated”, by Yoram Bauman, www.standupeconomist.com . Presented at the AAAS humor session, February 16, 2007. For the record, the speak contains two unattributed quotes (“9 out of 5″ is adapted from a line attributed to Paul Samuelson—even though apparently he said it about Wall Street indices, not macroeconomists—and “wrong about points” is paraphrased from PJ O’Rourke’s Eat the Wealthy) and, of course, the Einstein “basic” quote is an intentional misquote. The speak is based on a published post in Annals of Improbable Research (see http ), which sponsored my talk and to which you need to subscribe (improb.com ). In the paper you can see the “constructive example” of how trade can make every person worse off (or you can just wait 50 years to see what occurs with climate change). More information and other clips on my site (www.standupeconomist.com ), and please sign up for my email list. (No spam I promise.)

29 Responses to “Principles of economics, translated”

  • tedweird:

    means you don’t understand economics. micro was one of the easiest subjects i took in high school.

  • keepcalmycarryon:

    @imschatz2 U of Chicago is shit.

  • sheenababe202:

    @TheLisaGRAHAM Haha thats amazing I love this

  • sheenababe202:

    Is this canned laughter? I would not be able to take this lecturer seriously. given this, I would have to make efforts to draw gain from this material.

  • TheTrueEconomist:

    finally an economist who truly understands things.. so much.. that he can be a comedian with it.. modern economists don’t really understand what they are talking or studying about..

    watch TheTrueEconomist…

  • whotaughtyou:



  • roflwaffle12321:

    @iIIumi you must be jewish…

  • Cmaglim:

    there’s one idiot laughing excessively to prove how much he understands.

  • getoutmyfaceho3:


  • TheLisaGRAHAM:

    @jhlbjaaa its whatevz aye, its all money and bullshit at the end of the day! &..would you like to describe to me what interest looks like, feels like, tell me what are its characteristics..??? oh wait…it isn’t real.. interest IS a made up thing, it was conjurred up to make profit/wealth/debt/deficit/more interest/, but it doesnt HAVE to exsist therefore MADE UP crap i re-iterate (excuse spelling) its intangible…you show me a bag full of solid interest and i’ll shake your hand ;)

  • jhlbjaaa:

    @TheLisaGRAHAM You’re thinking about finance/commerce degree but talking about economic. Money, interest rate and statistics are part of economic but not all of it. Ultimately economic is the study of how individual household, firm or even government made choice out of limit resources. BTW interest is not a made up thing, it is the compensation of the bank pay to the saver for not spending their money.

  • CivilizedMan444:

    … Babbling Rubbish.
    … Intelligent commentators should start by defining “Economics”, which must be “the Science of Fulfilling Consumer Desires Efficiently”.
    … That would indicate that primitive Market Capitalism and Socialistic Slavery are NOT economic systems and should be excluded.
    … Start your economic education by reviewing “The Revolutionary ConsumerCard Article”, then “The Great Pyramid, Why Was It Built”.

  • JoshCarter4:

    Another reason to love this subject. xD

  • Napoleon997:

    @TheLisaGRAHAM understood…however that’s also precicely my point, in the US, the interpretation of what is funny is different to that in, say, Europe. So what is often funny in the US is completely dull in Europe, and what is often funny in Europe, American audiences don’t “get it.”…

  • iIIumi:

    I learned squat from this video. It should be noted in the title that this is stand up comedy or a joke

  • TheLisaGRAHAM:

    i challenge someone to fill a bag with interest and give it to me HAHAHA

  • TheLisaGRAHAM:

    people who take economic classes are wasting their time!for the following reasons.1 economics is a load of bullshit 2.its based on money(which is calculated by debt & interest),statistics(which is calculated by debt & interest)& figures(which are calculated by debt &interest).3.the economic structure in itself is nonsensical bullshit. for the ave joe all u need to know is, its a rip off, fuelled by fancy jargon to keep u unintersted and drowning in this MADE UP crap called interest.

  • TheLisaGRAHAM:

    @Napoleon997 nah i dont think so, funny is funny, humour and laughter is universal, its more how the joke is told and how its recieved by the individual,that makes shit either not funny or funny, not determined by their geographic locality.

  • Pastshelfdate:

    @TheSpiritOfTheTimes Hardly. First off, he doesn’t expect anyone to take him completely seriously. Second, he makes our limitations a lot more bearable. I can confirm from personal experience (ranging from harshly painful and crippling to wonderfully happy and productive) that laughter really is good medicine. And who needs more laughter than practitioners of “the dismal science.”?

  • IvanMercadoTV:

    Queridos estudiantes de Economía,
    este video del Dr. Yoram Bauman
    de seguro “les abrirá la cabeza” sobre los
    famosos “10 Principios de Economía” del amigo Manliw. LOL

  • Napoleon997:

    @Villainy03 I totally understand you. However, I am an economics major….I think in this case (for me, anyway) it’s just that the American sense of humour is vastly different to that of Europeans, Australians, etc.

  • Villainy03:

    @Napoleon997 Its only funny to economy majors, just like how history jokes are funny to history majors, racist jokes are funny to racists and internet memes are funny to /b/tards.

  • lanebriand:

    @gkspoofer Oh. My. God. I didn’t realize the “epic” disaster began at least four years ago. Don’t get me wrong; I loved the stand-up, but it was not “epic.” Please allow me to define “epic” using an example. Last night was epic if AND ONLY IF you met a president, killed a terrorist, and joined the mile high club without the assistance of a plane. Other things deemed “epic” should be of equal or greater value to such a night.

  • axallison:

    I agree with Napoleon there, he’s not funny. Maybe the audience was comprised of five-year-olds. And for sleepy mongoose, yes I have also had advanced economics courses…..

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