Friday, 27 June 2008

OIKONOMIKOS

I resent that people think economics is ‘about money’. It’s not. Economics is about human behaviour. It is the study of scarce resources. Economics becomes about money because the only way to measure scarcity is to determine the value of the resource, and price is the only function of value that does that. But economics is about the choices that individuals must make because of scarcity. The Greek word Oikonomikos, from which economics is descended, means household management. But I propose that since economics is about how people behave, the Greek root should be ethika, which means the way that people behave. But that word has been stolen. Anglicised, it means ethics (fairly obvious, really), which is a code by which people should behave. I resent that, too. But anyhoo, this is my theory.

Whatsay?