A couple of interesting questions:
Gustavus: Let’s start with the million-dollar question. Does economics matter?
Professor McCloskey: Yes, alas. I would prefer to live in Eden, but as long as we don’t, we have to face up to scarcity, and that’s a big part of the lessons of economics.
Gustavus: What is the biggest problem in economics in today’s global economy? Income inequality?
McCloskey: Let me start by saying economic equality is a silly thing to want. Do you want .325 hitters for the Twins to earn the same at .150 hitters? If you have a higher IQ than I have (a good bet, by the way), should we pound nails into your head to bring us down to equality? We can’t—and largely shouldn’t—achieve equality. But we can—and should—achieve a decent income for everyone. The biggest economic problem today is not inequality, despite what you read in the newspaper. It’s the remnants of poverty. World poverty has fallen in the past 40 years—and the past 200—like a stone.