Talk:Economics/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4


strange thing

Perhaps it is the perfectionist in me, but I find the reverse references to "demand and supply" in the article to be strange and a bit jarring. could we list them as the more typical "Supply and Demand"? Mrtmat (talk) 19:42, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Maybe it's an American thing, but I've almost always seen listed order as "demand and supply." Wikiant (talk) 20:30, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm an American and have always seen "supply and demand" as the norm. On the other hand, does it really make a difference? Smallbones (talk) 22:05, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Same here I live in New Jersey and I have always heard it as "Supply and Demand" too. Do other countries have different ways of saying it? I think our way makes more sense though. it has a better flow of the words and a good operational order of the words. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Neuhmz (talkcontribs) 15:23, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, for what it's worth Google Scholar has about twice as many hits for "supply and demand" economics as for "demand and supply" economics, not an enormous disparity but enough to suggest correctly that S&D is the more common usage. Nothing wrong with D&S of course. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:44, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Problems with "Criticisms of welfare and scarcity definitions of economics" sect.

Templates were recently added to the Economics#Criticisms of welfare and scarcity definitions of economics subsection challenging its compatibility with Wikipedia:Verifiability policy in the lack of cited sources and with Wikipedia:Neutral point of view policy.

If the above problems could be fixed, there would remain the Wikipedia:Cleanup problems, including those below.

The first paragraph starts with the 1st sentence (unsourced):

"The definition of economics in terms of material being is criticized as too narrowly materialistic."

If a definiton includes X in it, how can the definition be "too X"? It simply is. What follows the first sentence about the different marginal significances of $100 to the rich and the poor comes across as a point-of-view straw man, in that the standard definitions of the subject, including at the top of the article, include reference to distribution. Still later in the paragraph, the criticism about a definition of economics that is neutral about wants (liquor, cigarettes, etc.) does not require that we need be neutral about those subjects. But bringing up our possible non-neutrality is just changing the subject, like criticizing a definition of physics because it is unconcerned about a person being crushed by falling rock.

The 2nd paragraph refers to Marxist economics (commonly described as 'materialist') apparently agreeing with Marshall's definition at the end of the preceding subsection, which refers to "well-being," or anyhow not making clear how it differs from his definition. (Marshall there by the way explicitly allows for non-material sources of "well-being.") So, what is the point of the alleged Marxist criticism? The same paragrapn mentions the measurement problem of goods, but that's different from the definition of the subject. So, why take it up in this section?

The 3rd (& last) paragraph talks about approaches to economics that deemphasize scarcity. How does that constitute a criticism of a definiton? Isn't it more like changing the subject?

I propose to delete the above-mentioned section 2 weeks from today if the above-mentioned problems are not remedied. This is not to discourage anyone from attempting to improve the article elsewhere on a related subject. Comments are welcome. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:45, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Done. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 00:37, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Reorganized a few sections

I've reorganized some of the context to improve prose flow. I did not think it was logical to have an "In the beginning" section, when there is a History section later on. I have also removed some 4-level headings which were simply not necessary. I propose merging the "Selected fields" section into three paragraphs, instead of several small sub-sections. — Wackymacs (talk ~ edits) 10:39, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

May I welcome Wackymacs. Let me try to address the above comments. But first, allow me express regret that there is no reference above to related discussions on Talk:Economics/Archive 10, which strongly suggest contrary arguments. Such neglect seems inconsistent with Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Good practice, 5th para., beginning: "Read the archives: ..." In particular, some headings Talk:Economics/Archive 10 easily locate relevant discussions.
Let me summarize the things that the Edit above proposes or that the Edit associated with the above did (the 1st sent. of each numbering below in italics), followed by arguments against them:
1. The Edit merged the long-standing Section 1 ("In the beginning") into "Classical economics" under the History section much later.
There are these advantages to keeping the "In the beginning" material at section 1. (Here I adapt from Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Section 1: heading rationale & more, which is much more thorough.)
(a) There is an obvious continuity with the Lead & what follows. It is continuous with the 2 definitions in the 1st & 2nd paragraphs of the Lead, but it raises the ante, which may pique interest of the general reader. Adam Smith's long quotation in that section describing the subject of economics is not merely another definition or a long early definition. Rather, the quotation exhibits a modern genesis of economics as a program of analysis (suggested by the term 'proposes' in the quotation), including its prospective demanding practical and scientific uses. Its placement gives a point to everything that follows and implicitly asks the reader to measure the subject against the demanding standards Smith set for the new discipline.
(b) It is a verifiable source on a certain continuity of thought on the subject. From that perspective, the section should not (and does not) have "Main article: History of economic thought" at all. A big point is not history in the common sense of a chronicle over time. It is rather Adam Smith speaking across time as a fellow modern. Why postpone these elements for much later when they can do great good in section 1?
2. The Edit removed subsections for Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Mathematical economics, and Econometrics.
Yet, the big Encyclopædia Britannica article on the subject, cited repeatedly in Economics, lists these separate section listings in its table of contents. It is not a matter of "illogic" in EB but of convenience and importance. Listing them as separate subsections allows the reader to see the "trees" from the "forest." Why shoulndn't a reader be able to select that subsection from the table of Contents, if that is what of interest to inform of their content, just as the "Selected fields" subsections do? If such listing works for Encyclopædia Britannica, why shouldn't it work for this article?
3. It is proposed to remove the subsections for "Selected fields.
Similarly to (2), there is a parallel argument for not removing the subsections for "Selected fields" found at Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Should the Table of Contents list fields other than Micro & Macro?. In this case, as in (2) , it is not a matter of the subsections being convenient, not necessary. (It was very reasonable to propose before acting, let me acknowledge.)
4. The "Analysis of the economy" was re-titled "Economy analysis".
But 'economy' used as an adjective ('economy' fare etc. has an definition irrelevant to this context (see for example for the respective noun & adjective definitions.)
5. The "Mathematical and quantitative methods" section was re-labeled "Qualitative and quantitative."
The heading has no nouns, & 'Qualitative' does not appear in that subsection. The JEL classification codes have a corresponding classification name, "Mathematical and quantitative methods," not "Qualitative and quantitative."
6. The figure in the "Production possibilities, opportunity cost, and efficiency" section was moved top, away from where discussion of it is centered in the text & reduced in size to as to make it unreadable as to discussion in the text.
7. The history section was re-titled "History and schools of thought" from the long-staning "History and schools of economics", (whose heading was first vetted at Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Merge sect. 5 "History" & 6 "Schools"? Request for comment on the Talk page before being adopted in the marge of the "Schools of economics" & Histoty of economic thought" sections.
Yes, the WP:MOS#Section headings guideline would suggest not usung 'economics' there, "except where common sense and the occasional exception will improve an article" (top of link). But I believe that the last qualification applies here, The section is a blending of "history" and "schools." But of what -- 'thought' or 'economics'? An Advanced Google Scholar search of "history of economic thought" vs. "history of economics" shows a 2 to 1 for the former, but "school of economics" (NOT London) has an advantage over "school of thought" (economics) of around 3 to 1 advantage. Advantage (slightly) to "economics" over "thought." The game point (or tie-breaker) is arguably the common use of respectively classical or neoclassical or Marxist (or Marxian) economics (over school) in for example a Google Scholar search of those terms. Alternatively, if 'economics' is used in the subsection headings later in the "History" section ("Classical economics" etc.), why not sin once more in the lead of the "History." Overall "economics" is arguably the best fit. There is the added advantage of avoiding unnecessary mentalisms when observable phenomena of people who belong to schools employing concepts or axioms are aaailable, rather taan appealing to free-floating "thought." --Thomasmeeks (talk) 10:46, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Those are good points, but the current layout still needs a lot of improvement. At the moment, the lead is very short (when considering the size of this article) and so, you might as well integrate the "In the beginning" into the lead. Another method would be to move the History section to the top after the lead. — Wackymacs (talk ~ edits) 11:58, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Permit me to say that the first 4 words above are good. Still, I believe that they would have been better if accompanied by a credible expression of regret at (a) not consulting the Talk:Economics/Archive 10 first and (b) apparently not previewing the associated Edit in a manner that could have easily have prevented slips. As the 2nd Edit above indicates, it was not a matter of 1 or 2 slips. That created clean-up problem as to addressing the Edit. But that’s a bygone now (or so one hopes).
Let me address the specific concerns expressed above on their own merits.
[1] As to the layout, I believe that few perusing the Lead would be surprised at the table of Contents listing
[a] "In the beginning" at the beginning of the rest of the article (with that section serving as a standard for what follows)
[b] successive section headings that follow.
The 1st 2 paragraphs (definitions, etymology, economics as a science, and scarcity discussion) feed into, exemplify, or drive sect. 1-3 (“In the beginning,” “Basic concepts,” & “Economic reasoning”). And so forth, as to other sections. There is a lot to be said for keeping the Lead of a long article brief and simple to entice further interest, saving details for later when they can be given context.
[2] The current Lead is I believe reasonably structured in short, readable, and allusive paragraphs that prefigure later discussion. The “In the beginning” material was in the Lead earlier but moved down following an article banner warning as late as 06:21, 15 March 2007 (at [1]) that the Lead might be too long. The Lead then had 5 paragraphs, one over the guideline maximum of 4 paragraphs (Wikipedia:Lead section#Length with an image-with-text that complements the rest of the Lead.. Which paragraph(s) went? One of them was the “In the beginning" material. Exceeding the guideline maximum is a difficulty of moving the “In the beginning" material to the Lead. It is an advantage in current placement (per (1) & [1a] above).
[3a] As for moving the “History” section to follow the Lead, that was discussed at Talk:Economics/Archive 10#structure changes: placement of History and Schools sections at top? (sect. 37.2) (see especially the 4th & last paragraphs). (At the time the “History” & “Schools” sections had not yet been merged.) Professional editorial decisions can differ on this. The superb Britannica article (referenced (2) above & in Economics throughout} follows the same pattern as all the other articles in the associated mega-article “The Social Sciences” in placing the “Historical development” section of the subject immediately after the lead section. And why not, with Mark Blaug, pre-eminent historian of the subject, writing the article? But that is not the only way to order an article on the subject. And it may not be the most efficient way of communicating useful knowledge on the subject. For example, in exposition of the Economics#Neoclassical economics section, it is unnecessary to recap material already covered in Economics#Supply and demand. Rather, the latter serves as a point of departure for keeping ;later treatment concise and avoiding redundancy in the 2 sections.
[3b] The respected Henry J. Aaron [2] is the author of the “Economics” article in the best-selling World Book Encyclopedia, which, according to the publisher, has its share of awards. (WB has been marketed as a “family encyclopedia” for those aged 15+.) In that article, the history section is next to last.. Why? Perhaps to develop the subject first – as a hook for later delving into its history. Arguably, learning about the concepts, methods, and fields of the subject makes the history of the subject come alive as the reader follows earlier writers grappling with successive problems cast up by their theory, methods, and observations. The later placement is not to downplay history but to take it seriously by giving it meaning as to origins, historical context, distinctive contributions, etc. –Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:17, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

should be accusative?

in the intro the word economics is said to derive from the attic word oikos(house). but then the passage goes on to say the meaning is

"rules of the house(hold)."

shouldnt oikos be changed to the accusative oikon, rather than the nominative? (i'm not 100% sure.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:25, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Arguing with the definition of 'economics'

The definition in the page is

Economics is the branch of social science that studies the production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

First, this probably violates the license terms set by Wikipedia. It is a direct copy of the definition at Princeton's WordNet, a copyrighted work also available from the MIT Press. On this ground alone, we must change the first sentence.

But it is also an incorrect definition. Most economic behavior is not commercial, and many economist do not study commerce. If we read various popular works, such as The Undercover Economist and scholarly works we find many economic analyses of non-commercial, social activities. For example: traffic, the surfer commons, obesity, sex, and many others.

It seems that the definition presented in the first sentence of this article is too narrow. The first sentence presents a biased, econometric definition, perhaps influenced by Princeton's graduate school focus on mathematical economics. Many economists do not share this focus, and some would call it a bias. We should replace the first sentence with a definition broad enough to capture the work of all working economists. I propose:

Economics is the study of making choices, of the allocation of scarce means to satisfy competing ends.

Ample support for this view can be gathered from all over the web.

Jeff.younger (talk) 09:11, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

The definition isn't "econometric" but I agree that it is "commerce-centric." I had suggested a definition a while back that got edited out. Something like: "Economics is a social science that studies the behavior of agents who seek to fulfill desires in the presence of constraints." This more general definition, while less utilitarian, encompasses non-commercial economic behavior. Wikiant (talk) 11:37, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Not sure what "econometric" has to do with this. I completely agree with Jeff.younger. :) Feel free to be BOLD. II | (t - c) 11:40, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Hoo, boy. I once told someone that if you ask 2 economists what economics is, you'll get 5 answers. If it's a direct copy, then it should be changed. The overwhelming concern with the discipline of economics is with groups, rather than individuals. As such, I don't think that a definition which sounds like individual choice should be used. I definitely don't want to see economics defined down to "that which economists study". Part of the point of the undercover freaks is that the tools and thinking of economics can be applied to many problems. That doesn't necessarily make those problems economics. Cretog8 (talk) 15:09, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Jeff.younger's version can be found in the fourth sentence. The wordiness could be cut down on this introduction, perhaps. II | (t - c) 15:13, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Cretog8 wrote, "I definitely don't want to see economics defined down to 'that which economists study'." In one sense, this is sensible, but in another it isn't. If by 'that which economists study' we mean 'the particular observations for which they offer economic explanations,' then we would err. But in another sense, economic explanations have some common property which makes them economic explanations as opposed to, say, a chemical explanation or a physics explanation. This common property is the differntia of the definition. In this sense, to fail to state what economists study is to fail to define economics at all.
The current definition is indistinguishable from a definition of 'business' precisely because if fails to include a differentia.
What is the differentia? Clearly, it is individual choice. The economic study of groups logically and empirically depends upon a theory of individual choice. So while we shouldn't excise the portions of the first paragraph that deal with aggregates, we must include mention of economics as a social science (as distinct from business) and the role of individual choice.
I am not arguing that we reduce mention of groups and aggregates, but I am arguing that we must include mention of individual choice.
Then I think this is an error: "The overwhelming concern with the discipline of economics is with groups, rather than individuals." Economics is overwhelmingly concerned with how individual choices aggregate. To deny the role of groups and aggregates is surely an error. To deny the fundamental importance of individual choice is also an error.
Perhaps we can agree on a method. Let us start with the widest (in the logical sense) definition, and then point out the various "concerns" of economics and their relative importance. This would satisfy everyone, I think. It would also be more correct.
Jeff.younger (talk) 19:35, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure I can keep up with you, J.y. I will certainly try to give feedback on any specific proposals you make. I think we will hit disagreement somewhere, because of your emphasis on individual choice. (Economics is individual choice which is psychology which is neurology which is biology which is chemistry which is physics!) (I know that's not what you're saying, but I can't resist.) In the first paragraph, production and consumption of goods and services are largely matters of individual choice, but the sentence (rightly, I believe) leaves them open to be either individual or groupy. Anyway, as I say, I may be able to comment more productively on a specific proposal. Cretog8 (talk) 22:23, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, I'll slow down. But you seem to have forgotten the short history of the question here. First, I did give a specific proposal,

Economics is the study of making choices, of the allocation of scarce means to satisfy competing ends.

Second, I objected to the current lead paragraph on two counts: (1) it is plagiarized from a copyrighted work, (2) it misleads by being incomplete. Third, you objected writing, "I don't think that a definition which sounds like individual choice should be used."
I argued that your objection is theoretically flawed because groups are merely aggregates of individuals. All economic reasoning about groups rests on a theory of individual decision-making. While you want to eliminate micro-economics, it is pretty clearly a grievous error of omission.
I also note that the proposal I've made is at least as agnostic about groups or individuals as the current one. It makes no mention of groups or individuals whatsoever. So the proposed change seems to already address your concern that we should "leave them open to be either individual or groupy." I'd go even further and explicitly describe both individual and groupy aspects.
I am curious to read what others think and to read a counter-proposal from Cretog8. (talk) 00:28, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
J.y, indeed you're right that I lost track. Whether or not I might argue with that definition with the future, it's certainly an improvement over a direct quote from another source. Go for it. Cretog8 (talk) 00:32, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Legitimate concerns have been raised above, on which please allow some further comment.
  1. The relevant portion of the 1st sentence of Economics, though similar, in not a direct copy of Princeton's WordNet description of 'economics' as found here. Still, that portion might be further distinguished from Princeton with added conciseness by dropping the words "branch of."
  2. I believe that copyright violation from Princeton's WordNet as to the opening sentence of Economics is unlikely. Princeton's WordNet matches very similar definitions in multiple dictionaries. One can doubt that they are violating each others' copyrights. In the nature of an accurate definition, similarity is to be expected, not grounds for a claim of copyright infringement. All elements of the first sentence go back to at least the 19th century, making even theoretical copyright violation more doubtful. For details of 19th-century descriptions of 'economics', see Groenwegen (1987), "'political economy' and 'economics'," The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, v. 3, p. 905 (cited in sect. 1 of the article) or a Google Scholar search of the relevant terms individually with 'economics' or even in combination.
  3. The 2nd paragraph of the article, which gets into choice, makes discussion of choice in the 1st sentence arguably premature. I also agree that going from the very general 1st-sentence description of economics to the more-specific 2nd para. makes sense.
  4. Comments above related to the "commerce-centric" dimension of the 1st sentence point to 'exchange' as problematic & unnecessary. An added problem is that 'exchange' is arguably included in 'production' (suggested in Economics#Specialization, division of labour, and gains from trade) & 'distribution'. Then there is an advantage in dropping 'exchange', in favor of more general terms that include it. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:55, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
5. P.S. Describing 'economics' as "what econonmists do" is one way of expressing humorous frustration at having to stick to just one or even serveral definitions. But logically, it is arguably question-begging in not indicating what it is that economists do. A related point is made more substantively in the last sentence of the Lead in pointing out a wide renge of applications of the subject. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:49, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Edit conflict: Is "exhange" in the 1st sentence necessary or helpful?

[1] The presence of "exchange" in the 1st sentence of Economics at the bracketed point below

Economics is the social science that studies the production, [exchange,] distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

was disputed at (4) above and by allusion earlier in the same section, hence its deletion as unnecessary & objectionable. It deletion was referenced in the article Edit of 17:17, 7 July 2008 with this summary:

1st sentence: rm ... "exchange," per concerns raised in Talk:Economics#Arguing with the definition of 'economics' & for conciseness wout loss of generality

Despite this, there was a recent reinsertion of the disputed term without discussion in the above section. That is hard to square with Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#How to use article talk pages (under Discuss edits). The associated referencing of another Talk page (Talk:Economy) is discussed in [3] below).

[2] The first sentence in the article without 'exchange' is close to many standard contemporary definitions of 'economics', including those in,, American Heritage, and Random House Unabridged dictionaries and World Book and Britannica (Micropedia article "economics") encyclopedias. That is, none of these include "exchange" in the definition. It is unlikely that these sources got it wrong in omitting 'exchange' -- for one thing, because they hire professional social scientists and even economists to advise on such usages (or write the articles). Similarly Paul Samuelson and William Nordhaus in their Economics (textbook), p. 4, do not use "exchange" in their definition. Again this is not an error. Their definition of 'distribution' (in their "Glossary of Terms," culled from standard sources, referred to in Distribution (economics), which is linked in the 1st sentence of Economics listed above) easily includes 'exchange'. That is consistent with an everyday use of 'distribution' that, joined to "of goods and services" readily implies "exchange" as well. Suggesting that 'exchange' is necessarily or standardly distinguished in its effects from "distribution" (of goods and services) is redundant, and confusingly so (like double counting. Inclusion of 'exchange' thus is not helpful.

[3] As to the argument in Talk:Economy#distribution / exchange (which does not meet multiple objections in the section immediately above), I sympathize with the intent of having a simple scheme to describe 'economics' as studying temporal relations of (first) production, (next) exchange, (next) distribution, and (finally) consumption -- each linked to "of goods and services." But this temporal account is misleading. The definition makes no reference to a time sequence, & none should be inferred (by Occam's razor). So, referencing such a sequence is again not helpful. The terms have an analytical relation to 'economics', not a sequential relation to each other. If there is any time relation of the terms, the most plausible one is simultaneous, not sequential. That at least abstracts from the passage of time, as do standard defintions of the subject.

Comments welcome. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:39, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

My preferences on this have switched, although my preferences are still largely ignorant of what qualifies as encyclopedic. My reasoning earlier was that my understanding of exchange is essentially a subset of my understanding of distribution. I do still feel that way. However, we aren't laying out minimal required axioms here, but trying to explain something. In practice, an enormous amount of economics is concerned with the exchange aspect of distribution, and so mentioning exchange early--even in that sentence--makes sense. Cretog8 (talk) 00:52, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
[4] An interesting point. Thank you for the comment. Let me try to engage it seriously. I believe that it is not a matter of axiioms. Let me attempt to add specificity. Each of the terms in the 1st Econ sentence above are conjoined by "and" ("production" etc.) and thereby suggested to have some positive value added -- otherwise why include all of them? That is just the point made by the other discussant at Talk:Economy#distribution / exchange, misleadingly, so it is maintained above. I don't see the advantage of reinforcing that mis-impression.. In so doing, it thereby misleadingly diminishes 'distribution'. If the reader could reasonably infer that the terms are each intended to have value added, it makes no sense to unnecessarily mislead. It should not be necessary to "unlearn" what was misstated in the WP:LEAD. Unnecessary terms also go against Strunk and White in not keeping it reasonably simple and go against an encyclopedic style.
[5] The 2nd sentence of the Lead (on the etymology of 'economics') and the 2nd paragraph (providing an alternate description/definition reinforces) the impression of the 1st sentence as a definition. Inclusion of "exchange" arguably violates WP:NPOV & WP:VER in adding unnecessary and misleading terms not reflected in standard English or economics usage. I'll admit that more than a century ago the exchange/distribution distinction would have been very easy to agree to (& was so maintainned in the work of John Stuart Mill). Still, it is retrograde & arguably violates WP policy to ignore standard contemporary English and economics usage on the premise that we editors know better than standard sources. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 03:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't feel very strongly about this, so I'll try to resist commenting again after this one. If I were to discuss making a sauce which includes "spices and paprika", the implication would not be that paprika isn't a spice, but that paprika's a particularly important spice for that recipe. It could be phrased differently, "spices (particularly paprika)", but I don't think the first version is terrible. As I say above, a huge part of the study of distribution in economics is the study of exchange, and so it seems reasonable to draw attention to that fact early on in some way. Finally, while there is valid argument about the best way to write the article for comprehension, I'm quite confident that there's no WP:OR, WP:POV, or WP:V issues here. Exchange is a huge part of economics; none of what's been discussed in the lead is really off what's nearly-universally understood in the field. Cretog8 (talk) 20:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
[6] OK. I hope that contrasting vigorous, honest dialog would not conceal the shared purpose of improving the article. A quick recap of some points I made. [1] above claims that 'exchange' in the 1st sentence of Economics (above, top) is unnecessary & objectionable as per discussion in the previous section. [2] & [4-5] in effect claim that the absence of 'exchange' in the definition satisfies wide verification per WP:VER policy & avoids confusion per WP:LEAD guidelines (which also arguably ties into WP:NPOV policy). Philosophers have the nice term 'implicature' to describe something suggested, though not strictly implied, by a statement. There is nothing objectionable in an implicature if it is accepted as true, only if it is not accepted with good reason. Agreed, that "exchange" is very important in economics. But it is, I believe, well described as contained & implied in other terms in the 1st sentence of the article. So, it is discussed there by cognates, implication, & implicature. Similarly, as to the image-with-text in the Lead. So, there is, I think, wide substantive agreement, whatever the residual disagreement about exact wording. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 14:13, 18 July 2008 (UTC) Above paragraph numbered) --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:57, 22 July 2008 (UTC) (

“Economics” is a social science. Defining the word is to determine its field of study. This is an abstract effort, better left to economist to decide what to include and what to leave in the definition. According to the lead the most widely accepted definition is the one offered by Lionel Robbins in which good and services are not even mentioned. So, I feel that leaving out the word “exchange” is OK because, as Cretog8 said it may be considered a subset of “distribution” (one way distribution can be achieved). By the same type of argument the word “distribution” could be left out since its concept can be included in the concept of production. So we would be left only with production and consumption in the definition. Production would be the point of departure and consumption the goal. Distribution and exchange are in the middle and can do without.

Take for example a firm. It hires labor (pays wages) and uses capital (pays interest) and land (pays rent) to produce. It may generate profits or loses depending of the ability of the entrepreneur. In the activities of production, distribution is automatically achieved since the definition of distribution (money claim over total production) is the payment to the owners of the factors of production (labor, capital, land, and entrepreneurship). This is one of the three ways employed by National Accounts to measure Gross National Product (GDP) absent the Government and External Sectors Measures of national income and output#The Income Approach. So, distribution is part of production and could be also left out of the definition of economics.

On the other hand, an economy is something that exists the same way an oak tree exists. The concept is not as abstract as a definition of a field of study is. Its definition may be descriptive. The word exchange in the definition has valued added because is a mayor feature and activity of an economy. Exchange is the circulation (change of possession and ownership) of good and services. Without exchange there is no economy. Exchange is everywhere in an economy. It could be commercial i.e. exchange done in markets or non commercial exchange determined by some rule (base on customs, ceremonies, religion, politics, etc). It also can be balance or unbalance depending if the ones doing the exchange are receiving equal values in return. In an altruistic exchange, for example, one of the parts may be receiving only the tanks. In commercial exchange, prices are determined which are the expression of the exchange values of good and services a communication device that tells everybody what to do. For these reasons I would leave the word exchange in the definition of an economy. --Firulaith (talk) 04:51, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Things as Occam's razor and Strunk and White should serve as guides only. Writing is a communication device used to convey a message. Sometimes a redundant wording may be appropiate to reinforce, clarify or to do some especial effect. --Firulaith (talk) 04:51, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Exchange in economics is still used by contemporary economists in the same way it was used by John Stuart Mill by institutionalists, anthropological economists and socialists see for example[[3]], and[[4]] --Firulaith (talk) 04:51, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

I say keep it in. Exchange may be implied by production/distribution/consumption, but it is worth stating explicitly. II | (t - c) 05:03, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

[7] Welcome. It may be worthwhile recalling that the heading of this subsection refers to the Economics article, not the Economy article. If the inference above is that different considerations could apply to the different articles, one may agree. The first sentence of the Economics article (above, top) is a widely-attested definition of 'economics'. It includes the more-general term 'distribution' (of goods and services), instead of the less-general term 'exchange'. To my knowledge that point is not generally disputed as a definition of 'economics' in any of the fields mentioned above. [2] above cites 5 contemporary, standard sources with a definition of 'economics' that includes 'distribution' but not 'exchange', satisfying WP:VER policy on the point at issue. I believe that these sources were not mistaken. [1-2, 3-6] above set out the disadvantages of including 'exchange' with the other standard terms. P.S. The omission of "exchange" from the trio of "production, distribution, and consumption" is not a late occurrence. It is found for example in the 2nd paragraph of Henry Sidgwick's entry "economic science and economics" (1896)), republished in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics (1987), v. 2, p. 58. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:57, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

New image depicting the field of economics

The current image for the article is of the trading floor of a stock exchange. The text below the picture says "Financial decisions are only one among many economic choices people may make." Would it be more relevant to change that picture to something that depicts the more broad field of economics, not just "one among many economic choices"? I remember seeing a production possibility frontier there earlier, and I would suggest that as a possible alternative.

Crarmstrong (talk) 02:56, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree (though I don't have a suggestion for a replacement). Wikiant (talk) 11:55, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, the image-with-text does have some advantages, which would have to be weighed against any alternative (the old opportunity-cost thing):
It is consistent with WP:LEAD#Provide an accessible overview guidelines in illustrating behavior, choice & relations per the 2nd & 4th paragraphs of the Lead. The text with the image suggests that the subject deals with the broad subject of human behavior and choice, contrary to a stereotype of the subject. So far from reinforcing the stereotype (on which, see Homo economicus#Criticisms), the text corrects the stereotype. True, the imaga is a concrete example, rather than abstract model, but that can be an advantage, again per WP:LEAD#Provide an accessible overview, esp. when balanced off by the more general text umder the image.
Of course, there is already a production-possibility-frontier image in sect. 2.1, with accompanying thorough explanation. It is arguable that the current concrete image with accompanying more-general-text in the Lead would entice more readers to read beyond the Lead than a figure illustrating a concept treated in more satisfactory detail only 2 sections later. Of course someone could make a case for a still-more-compelling image-with-text. In that case, this page (or section) might be a good place to try it out. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 13:32, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Section 1 heading: "In the beginning"?

A recent article Edit replaced the long-standing section 1 heading "In the beginning" with "Origins". The latter has something to be said for it, but I believe that its advantages should be weighed against the alternative in attempting to assess which has the net advantage. Below are variations on an argument for restoriug "In the beginning." (Earlier discussions along the same lines are found at Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Section 1: heading rationale & more and Talk:Economics/Archive 10#In the beginning.)

  1. "Origins" suggests a historical discussion. But "In the beginning" suggests something more. Unlike "Origins," "In the beginning" is not limited to a time boundary. Rather, it suggests a modern genesis of economics. The long Adam Smith quotation confirms that impression in its definition of the subject. It suggests a program of analysis (as in the term 'proposes'), including both its practical and scientific uses. It is a verifiable source on a certain continuity of thought on the subject, rather than only of historical interest.
  2. One not interested in "origins" of the subject might well be tempted to skip a section so titled, ignoring the practical and demanding standards exposited in the Smith quotation. The Smith quotation seems very ambitious. Did Smith succeed? At least "in the beginning" suggests that something possibly portentous may be discussed. This may pique curiosity as to the section & what follows, in which case the section is, one hopes, a seamless segue. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:46, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Oops, yes that was me - I decided to be bold and change the title, coz it didn't sound encyclopedic - this isn't the Bible after all. My main prob with "In the beginning" is its length - section titles should be short and sweet. Here are some alternatives:
  • Emergence
  • Beginnings (and maybe briefly include some pre-Smith stuff found in History of economic thought)
  • Genesis
  • Origins (yes i know it's not popular :P)
  • Development
What these all share in common is they're short and to the point. I'm not that sure that the current title "suggests that something possibly portentous may be discussed", it just sounds jarring and out of place in the article, IMHO. Brisvegas 05:13, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Welcome to this page, Brisvegas. Thank you for gutsy, smart article Edit & Edit summary,not changing the heading in question but adding a hidden note for Editors. That also changes the dynamic of this section to freer exchange & away from what might otherwise be mistaken for an acrimonious exchange.
Any differences revealed above in my judgment may come down to a predicted reaction of most readers. I believe that the longevity of the heading "In the beginning" (ITB) attests to most potential Editors (and other readers) not finding ITB jarring. Similarly, from above, there seems to be agreement tht few would find ITB religiously tinged (any more than the many other uses of "In the beginning" are so tinged). It likely helps acceptability that ITB is at the beginning of the article, discusses something at (thus, in) the beginning of a conventional dating of the subject, and immediately precedes the "basic concepts" section. Each of the 5 alternatives to ITB above:
  • refers to something from the past rather than what begins something (with more of an accent on what follows).
  • suggests a process, rather than a discrete event, which the Adam Smith quotation is. Arguments for maintaining the integrity of section are found at (1), [1], and [3] above at Talk:Economics#Reorganized a few sections.
On whether ITB is unencyclopedic, the corresponding Template:Unencyclopedic refers to Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not policy. I could find nothing there inconsistent with ITB. Similarly for WP:MOS#Section headings. The argument of [2} above is consistent with WP:LEAD guidelines, of which that section is a kind of Lead addendum per (1) atTalk:Economics#Reorganized a few sections. I do grant that ITB is allusive, and that allusion in a heading ought to be used very sparingly. But the Adam Smith quotation I believe warrants it. Of course, Smith is very important historically, ranked 30th of The 100 most influential persons in history by one historian. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 15:11, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Possible alternative phrasing

In the beginning sounds a little religious or pontificating. Does not sound neutral or educational ... but does sound preachy... like telling someone, instead of educating someone. Also the beginning part is presenting inaccurate information... Economics as we know them derive from the the 3.000 to 2.000 BC period. That is when rampant Capitalism appeared... civil contracts.. codified interest rates.. trade.. commodity metrics.. fixed fines for law infractions.. laws as to money etc.

Adam Smith is only formal recycling of that period (18th cent.) for a modern reader ... and Adam Smith economics is economics based on the low human energy conversion of the time period as opposed to modern machine productivity which does not depend on human labor... or does very little. Smith hails back to the original ancient legal and civil society ideas.... it is a major mistake to say that it is the beginning of how we think of economics. That very old subject, unless it is framed as a kind of recycling for the 18th century, of these very old ideas. How about - Politics economics and culture -- for a title of that section skip sievert (talk) 16:19, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Changed the title to Politics economics and culture as that is the subject more or less of that segment... also worked in just a little of the historical underpinning of codified economics with some wiki link articles and a ref. citation to one of the first (written) civil law (Hammurabi) documents... that specified standardized arrangements in economic terms...(money) for private property... fines for legal infractions... inheritance laws... settling injury law .. etc. It could be said that this time period set the tone in economic terms for the future... as they first employed codified economic principles. skip sievert (talk) 17:49, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

"Politics economics and culture" is a poor choice for a first section of this article. When it was titled "Origins" or "In the beginning", while there might have been some contention, it was pretty clear what the goal of the section was. With "Politics economics and culture", the purpose of the section is lost--it's not clear if its history, plus that heading covers just about everything--the role of women in the workforce would be a perfect fit under such a heading for instance. I'm going to change it back to "Origins". That might not be the best, but it will help the section get back to a particular purpose. Cretog8 (talk) 20:56, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Amendment, I'm going to change it to "In the beginning" since that seems closer to the pre-existing consensus. (I prefer "Origins" myself.) Cretog8 (talk) 20:59, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
  1. I'm sorry it has taken so long to repond in this section. I ocncur that "Politics economics and culture" is the least good choice (even ignoring grammar or punctuation problems). That leaves the other ones to consider. Advantages of "In the beginning" (ITB) compared to each of the other remaining ones proposed are discussed in the preceding section Talk:Economics#Section 1 heading: "In the beginning"?.
  2. Supporting the consensus for ITB, there is its duration. Since 14:53, 21 March 2007, section 1 has had the titla "In the beginning" for most of that period. For the short periods when an alterhative title for the section was used, see earlier discussions at Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Lead: shortened restore with sect. 1, Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Section 1: heading rationale & more, and Talk:Economics/Archive 10#In the beginning. If there were a consnsus for another alternative, it never showed up on the Talk page.
  3. The harsh critique of ITB at the top of this section & below at Talk:Economics#In the beginning assert that ITB is religious or preachy. ITB I believe delivers as to the contents of the section & makes the secion more likely to be appreciated along with what follows. The prospective reader is my primary concern, consistent with WP policies and guidelines of course. The article is at a juncture where it is worth trying to preserve gains. Of course others may be convinced otherwise as to gains in the present instance. Comments welcome. 04:45, 4 August 2008 (UTC) --Thomasmeeks (talk) 10:09, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Really it has no place on its own, and it should be part of the history of economic thought section. It's not a good way to introduce, and it makes the article feel like there's no flow. Wikidea 10:08, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, that's a view against which arguments are presented most recently above at Talk:Economics#Reorganized a few sections, (1), (7), and at the bottom [3]. If you wish to take that up again, would you consider starting a new section devoted to that subject? --Thomasmeeks (talk) 10:39, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Coming back to this. Again, "Politics economics and culture" just doesn't make sense as a section header. "In the beginning" may well be POV, and so forth but "Politics economics and culture" doesn't create any context at all. I'm going to change it to "Origins". I'm very open to alternatives, including getting rid of the section, moving material to history... Changing the title is the least-drastic measure I can think of until an actually correct measure can be taken. Cretog8 (talk) 03:46, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
On second thought, I'm just cutting the section out. See below. Cretog8 (talk) 03:53, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Preoccupation with mathematics: Warren Gibson and frustration with neo-liberalism among economists (as opposed to leftist anti-economics propaganda)

Who the hell is Warren Gibson? Someone obviously thought that he is so important that his name should be in the article. Well, my grandpa had his own views on economics as well, I still would not just randomly quote him here, would I? Moreover: Is the mentioned movement really so important already that it should be mentioned here? More importantly: Why isn't there any mention of the frustration with the IMF and Wold Bank politics? In my view that triggered frustration with neo-liberal theory which in turn gave a big push to institutional econmics which was popular even before 2000 (see North (1990) for example).Asdirk (talk) 08:48, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I put him in there. Obviously the people at Econ Journal Watch thought he was worth mentioning. He has a stronger background in mathematics than most economists, with his engineering PhD and a lifetime of work experience. That gives him an interesting perspective. The relative simplicity of economics mathematics, and the work that it aspires to, has left it open to this criticism by lots of mathematicians, physicists, and heterodox economists – criticism over math is probably the most common criticism of mainstream mathematics. Others have accused economics, particularly financial economics, as being a pseudoscience which aims to deceive with fancy mathematics. The most high-profile of these people have been Nassim Taleb, Richard Feynman, and George Soros. I read a paper the other day where the author (David Colander, I think) said that economists were pretty much laughed out of a conference that they attended with physicists in the 80s (or maybe it was the 90s). I'll see if I can dig that up. The new work in nonlinear mathematics, game theory, and complexity theory is giving them a little more credibility. It is probably best to reference some of the more well-known of these "heterodox economists" such as Geoffrey Hodgson of institutional economics. Similarly, evolutionary economics takes a nuanced approach to their disdain of mainstream economics and the mathematics within it. Pretty much all Austrian economists disdain a lot of the math, although their approach may be less nuanced. It's worth noting that this has nothing to do with frustration with neoliberalism but rather has everything to do with a frustration with using oversimplified models and linear mathematics to describe a complex system. II | (t - c) 17:47, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
The Gibson quote is bunk. There are many economists who have degrees in engineering and mathematics. Quoting Gibson (as a graduate student no less) smacks of POV. Similarly, quoting Feynman and Soros is questionable as neither are economists. This whole paragraph reads like someone is grinding axes. Wikiant (talk) 18:17, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
I thought the Gibson quote was neat, but it could easily be replaced by other comments from economists such as Mark Blaug, Hodsgon, Tony Lawson, or a number of others. Even Nobel Laureate George Akerlof has a discussion out on the web where he mentions that he had difficulty publishing the paper on lemons which won him his Nobel Prize because it was not quantitative enough. Anyway, give me a couple days and I'll put someone more prestigious in there. II | (t - c) 18:38, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
The "Preoccupation with mathematics" section is OK, better at least than the other parts of "criticism" in the article. The section does capture a strong sentiment by some economists. Oddly, I think II above gives the wrong impression. The problem as seen by many is that the field of economics can be too sophisticated mathematically, and so blind itself to what it's really supposed to mean. So, the criticism is real, probably a significant minority in the field (I suspect it might be a majority among those who really think about such things). If the references cited aren't the best, then better ones should be found, but they're good enough to hold the section up. (Regarding Gibson, I haven't read the article. It makes some sense to have a current grad student comment on this, so there's a plus to go along with the minus of lack of prominence. EJW is a new and somewhat experimental journal, so I would prefer citations from other journals, but this one's good enough.) Cretog8 (talk) 18:45, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Have any of you read, or even skimmed, any of the 4 articles referenced in that section? The best one is the first one by Hodgson; please glance through it before deleting it. Anyway, I certainly don't think the problem is that the mathematics in economics is too sophisticated -- the argument is that it is not sophisticated enough, and can never be sophisticated enough. It requires a closed, linear system, when the economy is not really a closed. However, if it was too sophisticated for economists to understand, then that would place considerable doubt on its veracity. Read Hodgson's paper referenced in that section -- the new paradigm for economics is the biological, not the physical/engineering. He's got quotes from Kenneth Arrow and Hahn backing up this sentiment. The other problem is that an obsession with mathematics leaves the real-world completely absent -- again, all the 4 papers referenced in that section hit on this explicitly, but I can find plenty more, and I see this in most economics papers that I read. They go through all the technique, but when it comes to application, there's little there. Not long ago I read a paper on insider trading in 9/11 where the Prof showed that statistically the level of trading suggested insider trading, and concluded just that -- but neglected to point out that the US gov't had investigated all of the trading that had happened and found no evidence of insider trading. I certainly don't think mathematics can or should be ignored, but the trust in it is clearly mislaid. There is a reason that economists have never forecast a recession, and are likely the most notorious "liars with statistics". There is some truth, also, to the old "assume a can-opener" joke. Also, here is Akerlof on his "The Market for Lemons" paper, which I assume all of you have heard of. It was rejected 3 times for being on a "trivial" subject. Notably, Tversky and Kahneman's studies also involve very little math. II | (t - c) 19:07, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Criticism section

Following from discussion on "Preoccupation with mathematics" above, I looked at the criticism section and recent edits. Most of the section should just go away.

  • "Ideologies and economics" has no references. While some of what's there could be useful, it's not useful as written and should go away until it comes back referenced and better-written.
  • "Ethics and economics" has two references, but they're to entire books without page numbers, and too vague to be useful. Again, the section contains some ideas which might belong in the article, but not as written.
  • "Effect on Society" same. The bit on political economy would be useful, but it's already covered better elsewhere in the article.
  • I think that "Preoccupation with mathematics" is the best subsection, and I'll comment on it above.Cretog8 (talk) 18:34, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Removed the 'Ideologies and economics' section from article as suggested. It was subjective .. not referenced.. and contained what seemed like speculative opinion. skip sievert (talk) 20:40, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Per lack of page-specific references noted above, a References template was added to Economics#Ethics and economics & Economics#Effect on society.* I agree about the redundancy of a portion of the latter as to earlier treatment in the article. I believe that the judiciousness of the remarks above (in addition to their succinctness) is appreciated by other readers of this page.
* The wording of the template bears close scrutiny. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 09:46, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Organization of Fields

The fields and areas sections don't make sense. While "fields" is well defined (at least in the US system), "areas" isn't. Further, the fields aren't all correctly defined. For example, "Mathematics and Quantitative Analysis" isn't a field. Meanwhile, the three components of M&QA are adhoc -- Econometrics actually is a field; mathematical economics is probably better classified as a set of tools used in micro and game theory; and national product accounting is a subset of macroeconomics. Wikiant (talk) 18:37, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Hello, Wikiant. I wish I had your conciseness. Lest anyone misunderstand, let me emphasize that there is a great deal of the above with which I agree. I'll concentrate on what I think are the bigger points here.* As a preliminary, let me mention some specifics & clarifications for background. "Areas and classifications in economics" (A&C) is the section of the article of which "Mathematical and quantitative methods" (M&QM) & "Selected fields" (SF) are subsections. There is no claim in A&C that M&QM or "math econ" is a "field." I agree that 'econometrics' is, and could be described as, a "field" or "tool," but it is described in its subsection as to what it does instead. A specialist might prefer to discuss math econ more narrowly than the subsection does, but the description there is consistent with the sources cited in the article subsection. (Possibly, this additional source should be added: Blaug, Mark (2007). "The Social Sciences: Economics," Mathematical economics, The New Encyclopædia Britannica, v. 27, p. 351.) A Google Scholar search would suggest the that "mathematical economics" need not exclude fields outside of microeconomics, such as macro and growth. And, yes, the heading "M&QM" is a term of convenience, not a term that strictly follows the corresponding JEL classification codes heading. Without burdening the article with gory details, at least the M&QM section should provide the general reader with a feel for the importance of those topics in contemporary economics without getting diluted in the 14 SF subsections.
* One. I think, minor point here, however. 'Area(s)" in C&A is not a technical term. It could mean a "field" or something broader, depending on context. If anyone wants to change "area" to the narrower usage suggested by "field," who could object? --Thomasmeeks (talk) 01:38, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Technocracy, etc.

The paragraph on Technocracy and related ideas is too much, much bigger than mentions of relatively mainstream schools of thought. It should be cut down to just a link to the most relevant article. I don't know which article is the most relevant, so I'll leave that to someone who knows more. Cretog8 (talk) 16:16, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I could try to pare it down... but the information in there now though is only a short paragraph and is completely and interestingly sourced. The Technocracy movement was huge in the 1930's and is still around. It probably does represent one of the most interesting of any economic alternative systems. I would like to see some consensus perhaps before paring down the section much. Take a close look at those citation links. That is some very interesting information... and the wiki article links are also very much connected to constructive ways to think about money a price system and Energy Accounting and Thermoeconomics. skip sievert (talk) 16:37, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
(I hope you don't mind, I indented you to make a threaded conversation.) I'm glad you're updating the technocracy-related articles. As it stands, I don't get it, and I'm still too preoccupied to invest the time, but when I get the time, good articles here will help. But, unless you can point to recent (last 30 years maybe?) articles related to technocracy in mainstream economics sources, I have to see it as a fringe approach. Compare that to supply-side economics or dependency theory which have significant followings within the profession, but have no more than a link in the article. Giving technocracy greater emphasis than that is seriously WP:UNDUE. I don't know technocracy's place in the history of economic thought. If you can show that it was historically significant, then it could maybe merit a place in the history section instead. Cretog8 (talk) 16:56, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The concept is not history it is present... the organization is alive and well... (I am not a member of TechInc.) and publishes information on a monthly basis. I can give a link to their Trend Events periodical if you like. They also publish quarterly articles. You may want to carefully read the money wikipedia article as to the Criticisms and Alternative segments... these are two separate areas that discuss Technocratic ideas as alternative economic theory. Also as a social movement there were 100's of thousands of people involved... and top scientists involved (Frederick Soddy M. King Hubbert) etc ... and it is based on ideas from Willard Gibbs. These things make it very significant and weighty. Also it is currently placed in the right section.. that being alternative approaches (other schools and approaches in the article). It also is a grass roots social movement in the U.S. and Canada which is interesting in that aspect also. Here is something you may want to read to get a feel for the concept and history and significance, especially in relationship to economic thought. History and Purpose of Technocracy.... skip sievert (talk) 17:13, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The trick is finding references to technocracy which don't come from Technocracy, Inc., which come from what would be considered a reliable source, and show its importance. Hopefully at the same time, those sources will help determine where the ideas belong in economics articles. I'm ready to be convinced otherwise, but from what I've seen so far, it's a fringe theory which doesn't deserve even equal treatment with topics such as dependency theory. Cretog8 (talk) 17:36, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Before bandying around concepts like fringe theory (science is not fringe theory last time I checked), maybe you perhaps could read some of the sources and information citations provided such as this Biophysical economics - Encyclopedia of Earth, (which mentions that particular organization). Also this ECONOMY AND THERMODYNAMICS (which also does), and this Environmental Decision Making, Science, and Technology.skip sievert (talk) 17:39, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and replace the paragraph on technocracy with a link to thermoeconomics, since as near as I can tell, that's the most representative concept. If the most representative concept is ecological economics or something else, feel free to replace the link. A skim of the Biophysical economics article places technocracy as a historically important movement that's related to current ideas, but not significant itself since the 1940's. Cretog8 (talk) 18:16, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I placed thermoeconomics in the macro list. I realize it (as well as many other approahes) straddles (or completely ignores?) the macro-micro distinction, but this seemed the best place to me. Feel free to switch it to micro if I'm mistaken. Cretog8 (talk) 18:20, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

It is pretty obvious that you do not understand the place of these ideas and presenters place of these ideas. Please leave the article as is for now. You have no consensus to change it and the information I have given you negates your argument. Also I hope this is not going to be an issue Wikipedia:Ownership of articles. There is no way that you could have investigated the material I have given you in the span of time given. You have already confessed to not knowing or understanding how these concepts relate to the article. This group and its ideas are integral to any understanding of economics, energy, and culture. Also I do not think you (your opinion) is probably a determiner of who is historically relevant or significant or not since I assume you are not a notable person to determine that. skip sievert (talk) 18:32, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I'll leave it be for the moment in the hope that others come to our assistance. I will point out that if this is integral to any understanding of economics, my bet is most economists don't qualify. And that's a good way to recognize fringe ideas. Cretog8 (talk) 18:53, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the removal of the paragraph. It's WP:UNDUE. --Patrick (talk) 19:16, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Hi Patrick... interesting user page you have : quote... Hello. I'm a researcher/economist and work on projects involving international trade, sovereign wealth funds, and anything else that our clients pay us to do. I guess I am wondering if you are interested in or have ever encountered alternative economic models before, because wikipedia does not think this subject is WP:UNDUE skip sievert (talk) 01:57, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the removal. It would certainly be of value to have a page that lists heterodox economic theories, but it is disingenuous to the reader to make it appear that technocracy is mainstream by including it on this page. Wikipedia is not a forum for advancing WP:OR. Wikiant (talk) 15:06, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I have not studied the above or below in detail, but I am heartened at the serious attention givem a disputed Edit. Here some ways of checking the claims made for inclusion. A general dictionary:
Does it fit the disputed Edit?
A Google Scholar search by years with jel of course referring to JEL classification codes
Does it go under the expected JEL code for a hit? If not, it is just a general term, not econ jargon. Is there any substantial discussion of the term in the article with referencce to the usage in the disputed reference.
New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. 2nd Edition, online search of the term. :
Similar questions to above. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 17:13, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Information and focus

I think you are censoring ...NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each. One paragraph on a major scientific economic movement is not overdoing it, especially as it was listed in Other schools and approaches, as it should have been. What you have done is completely remove any reference to Technocracy, which that section was about, in regard to economics and economic thought. You have removed any direct reference to Energy Accounting, at least in the main written part of the article. You have removed the article references of which there were many and they backed up the information presented. How is it that something that well sourced and referenced is capriciously removed? Something that is focused on in multiple wikipedia articles regarding economics. How is it that it can be referenced as Undue Weight? You have said (Cretog), your words... that you do not understand the concepts of this type of Non-market economics, even though there are multiple articles... concerning this and I have encouraged you to look at them. When I came to this article... In the beginning was a big contention. Now I think I know why. The article is not interested in mentioning directly other ideas about economics apparently outside the box.. or if so only as links without much context, and an editor seems to think that a science based economic theory is fringe even though it is well known.. and currently in use even in the ordinary price system. I gave a link to an economist that engaged questions concerning energy accounting and economic theory... and it was not discussed or mentioned... only Fringe Theory was brought up a number of times. History and Purpose of Technocracy

A mock up for that section could have been done on this talk page, and still can be. Then it could have been discussed. Cretog, you asked me to rewrite the section according to your idea.. apparently not seriously. You took none of my suggestions. If this article is just meant to be a compendium of mainstream economic theory without any other information.. then it is a disservice to people actually interested in the subject. A tiny mention of Thermoeconomics or ecological economics without the outside article links is pretty insignificant to the subject. So fringe idea ? I do not think so. ECONOMY AND THERMODYNAMICS by removing information like that in effect the article has been made shallow.

If people are serious about presenting good and complete information on this subject, and not referring to a serious science based economic theory as something beneath their contemplation... then lets at least let a major part of that information be included in this article... not just censored out for lack of having been exposed to it before... or some other biased reason. Let do a mock up here of that section or just restore it and alter it a bit. Removing the whole thing is antithetical to providing good and complete information as to this subject (Economics). skip sievert (talk) 18:56, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

As others said, this is clearly WP:UNDUE. MaCRoEco (talk) 07:59, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I added a wikilink to technocracy, which is as much as you're gonna get, I think. II | (t - c) 08:10, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Let's make it clear : there are 2 subjects, thermoeconomics and technocracy.

  • Thermoeconomics : just one wikilink is enough.
  • technocracy : I don't think this wikilink is necessary : technocracy is not a school of though in economics, it is an organisation of the public sector.

But I think we should add a section named Application of economics, dealing with economic policy and a word can be said of technocracy inside. MaCRoEco (talk) 09:21, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

This information (which I cited) which could go to this discussion, seems to be mostly being ignored. ECONOMY AND THERMODYNAMICS. Technocracy Incorporated is and was an economic social movement that is based around science, Energy Accounting Something formulated by Howard Scott and M. King Hubbert partly by ideas based from Frederick Soddy. All this is mentioned in detail in this article which was part of the very short paragraph that was removed from the proper place it should have been (# 5.6 Other schools and approaches).. section.

Also for those that have not encountered this mainstream concept which even the price system uses, here is a reference point... again. Environmental Decision Making, Science, and Technology... and I might add that energy and energy conversion is the most very basic part of any kind of thought regarding economics and society. Biophysical economics - Encyclopedia of Earth for any one that desires more information or knowledge about the role that TechInc played as to these ideas they might read this or the first link above where it is documented from outside sources from that group itself. It was another source that is now gone from the article.. pity because it contained lots of interesting economic basic information. Also as a source it brought out the role of TechInc which formulated a new and different economic approach that is still being discussed.
To McCroeco above... Energy Accounting is a school of economics... as Technocracy is a form of government. This is a definition of Economics... Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Technocracy advocates a scientific social design.skip sievert (talk) 21:51, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Another link to ponder

For interested parties as to an expansion of who, why, what, and so forth from previous thread. skip sievert (talk) 22:26, 31 July 2008 (UTC)


Added some information about the Physiocrats near the beginning section (Politics economics and culture) section. The Physiocrats were a group of economists who believed that the wealth of nations was derived solely from the value of land agriculture or land development.(citation) Their theories originated in France and were most popular during the second half of the 18th century. The movement was particularly dominated by Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727–1781) and François Quesnay (1694–1774). It immediately preceded the first modern school, classical economics, which began with the publication of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations in 1776. This in conjunction with Adam Smith section information fleshes out a little more the history of modern economics, I hope. skip sievert (talk) 00:17, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

May I welcome skipsievert. Arguments against the above paragraph on Physiocrats include these.
  1. The paragraph is likely to discourage further reading by those interested in the subject today (most readers, I believe), whereas they might be more interested in history after they learned more about econ (per above at Talk:Economics#Reorganized a few sections, end, [3a-b] ).
  2. By contrast to the Physiorats paragraph the Adam Smith quotation in that section complements the definitions at the top of the Lead, provides a standard for the rest of the article, and demonstrates the continuity of the subject of econ ever after Smith. Such continuity can hardly be described as "history" if it does not change. Inclusion of the Physiocrats paragraph is likely to dull parasitically the effect of the Smith quotation if placed last and lessen interest in the the Smith quotation if placed in chronological order. Reader motivation is especially important at the beginning of the article.
  3. The Physiocrats paragraph makes the section more a mini-history. There is already a history section later in the article, making a mini-history redundant. Comments welcome. –Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:22, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
Removing historically accurate and concise information that is cited and short, is not really beneficial to an understanding of this subject . Smith endorsed the Physiocrats to a large degree.. and no one can deny their importance. The cited information points that out. There seems to be a concerted effort to keep the article less well rounded, and to exaggerate Smith... as the end all and be all. You also removed the link to classical economics that was in that short section .. which defeats the purpose of letting people get an all around economics understanding right at the beginning (That article is mostly about Smith.)
  • Why would important information discourage further reading? Smith is history and is tied up with the Physiocrats whom he commented on positively. The Physiocrats set the scene for Smith.
  • Inclusion of the Physiocrats paragraph is likely to dull parasitically the effect of the Smith quotation if placed last and lessen interest in the the Smith quotation if placed in chronological order. - Sorry, but is this an advertisement for Smith, or is this an information article? Last time I checked reader motivation is not determined by a discussion of supposed parasite editing placement as this editor is accusing this edit of being. Is Smith a god here that must be treated like a Guru of economics? After all, who ever wrote the rather lame lead before for that section .... In the beginning ??? .. what were they thinking?? That neutral point of view? The Physiocrats, the precursors of Smith should be mentioned right up front .. as to modern economics beginning.
  • There should be a quick description of the physiocrats here under the lead. It is tied into Smith... Smith discussed and wrote about them at length. This link seems to be unpopular here because every time it is added someone thinks what ever section it is in should be taken out. Biophysical economics - Encyclopedia of Earth
  • Quote... Reader motivation is especially important at the beginning of the article. -Is Wikipedia a psychological scheme to seduce readers or just a source of accurate information?. Let readers have their own motivations. It sounds to me like you are talking about manipulating toward Smith and discounting information that is just as important. Why lead the reader? Only factual and accurate and neutral information should be presented. What if some people do not think as others do, that Smith is an end all and be all? By presenting one side .. both sides lose. The passage as written makes perfect sense where it is in the article now. The information it presents will allow people a well rounded view. That is the most important thing here (my opinion). Which brings up another point that should be changed immediately in the current edit. This...There Smith describes the subject in these practical and exacting terms: This is not the way to write neutral information. This phrase should be changed to something neutral. Right now it passes for someones opinion.. and sounds like nonsense to someone else that may not believe that editors opinion. Practical and Exacting come on.. that is original research at its worst. That is an opinion that is being sold to a perhaps gullible reader. That phrasing really is telling someone that Smith is the end all and be all. That has to be changed right away. It sounds more like propaganda or N.L.P. than information.

Physiocracy (the Physiocrats) is perhaps the first well developed theory of economics... Classical Economics. It occurred just prior to Smith and should be mentioned here at the beginning after the header in passing and in context.

Information does not come better sourced or more interesting as to this subject than the link below. Biophysical economics - Encyclopedia of Earth. This article can either be interesting and creative and full of pertinent information or something else. If the purpose of the article is to get accurate... sourced.. and well placed information, in a sort of order of where it should be located also then I think the edit should stay where it is. The section further down which mentions the group is fine also. Since Adam Smith is sprinkled liberally all through out this article in multiple places.. how is it that equally interesting and pertinent information can not be mentioned where it should be mentioned, near the top? Both Smith and the other group should not be limited to a history section, way down the way. Both can be together in a presented time line as to the presentation, then its more interesting and not so one sided. skip sievert (talk) 01:00, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

practical and exacting

It was pointed out above that the presentation of the Smith quote as being in "practical and exacting terms" might have a POV problem. I removed the "exacting"--it's a tricky word, which can hold without being POV, but leans POV. I left "practical" because his comment is very much about the practical matters of political economy, rather than some more "philosophic" aspect. Cretog8 (talk) 07:15, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

That sentiment could be disputed. Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher, whose first break was The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). He argued in this that people's ethical systems develop through personal relations with other individuals, that right and wrong are sensed through others' reactions to one's behaviour. This gained Smith more popularity than his next famous work, The Wealth of Nations, which the general public ignored. Fusfeld (1994) Yet Smith's political economic magnum opus was successful in circles that mattered. History of economic thought But, its better than it was. As far as practical... that is only true within the context of what it is saying. In other words.. if you believe the premise..the rest is easy. It may have been practical for its time... but that is probably a subjective inference as it is not developed ... only stated.. similar to stating something that is assumed true. The inference is that it was true then and perhaps now, since it is a blanket statement. skip sievert (talk) 14:30, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

1T. If an accepted usage of 'practical' also seems to apply to the earlier quotation, that certainly counts toward describing the quotation. That's no violation of WP:NPOV. It would be different if perusal of the quotation could reasonably lead one to say, "No, Smith was not trying to present the subject in practical terms so far as the statesman et al. were concerned." Context can help in the lead-in sentence as well as in the WP:LEAD. That's what 'practical' provides. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 17:28, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. Practical is the opinion of an editor here, as has been interjected as a form of debate in a context that is a claim. It is an endorsement of philosophy or an interpretation. The word does not add context. Endorsing by making a positive statement is not context. Practical is a word that could be used to convince that something is good... in this context. It is leading the reader to assume that Smith was practical in his ideas... which whether he was or not... should be left to others elsewhere to decide... and not editorialized here. The passage works better without the use of that or any other leading word. Neutrality in presentation is preserved then. skip sievert (talk) 17:58, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Suppose I said, "It is important for computers to stay cool to run properly, and one good way to do this is to give your computer ice cream. Coffee ice cream usually is most effective, although many Macintosh users swear that smoothies are best." That's practical. It's stupid and wrong and would cause horrible problems for anyone who followed through on it, but it's practical, because it's about actual practice rather than some concept like, "when a computer loses information, it creates entropy." Cretog8 (talk) 18:06, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I guess I do not understand your point. The debate is about using the descriptive word which I think is probably a weasel word Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words, in this situation. An editor is calling Smith practical. How is that a good idea? It is generally confusing to be given value judgments about whether something philosophical is actually practical... as it is based on opinions and not fact... and in this case based on the opinion of an editor... who ever wrote practical in the first place which I have not looked to see who it was. How is it that practical should apply to an intro to someones opinion regarding that persons economic ideas... Actual practice... again whos actual practice ..???. and why should that actual practice be given the status of natural law which it is not. Smiths opinion was perhaps practical in the 18th century.. perhaps not... but it deflects credibility to just present Smith to be swallowed whole as.... practical... instead of just presented.. without an editorial intro word... unless that is scholarly and sourced and not a value judgment attached on before a quotation.skip sievert (talk) 18:27, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
2T. It is hard to regard usage as found in dictionaries as opinion. Exercise of editorial judgment for clarity & context (per (1) above) does not violate WP:NPOV as such. I don't believe that the preceding meets the point in the 3rd sentence of (1) (now italicized). "Endorsing" Smith's quotation need not coincide with describing how Smith presents it. The assumption that "practical" should be presumed guilty is not necessary & works against context. "In these practical terms" is how Smith is described as presenting the subject, not an evaluation that the subject is in fact practical. Critical use of the principle of charity here as elswhere is a good bulwark against undue skepticism and endless deconstruction, to the benefit of the reader of the article. (Written prior to preceding 2 Edits.) --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:23, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
The assumption that "practical" should be presumed guilty is not necessary & works against context. Not the issue here. Neutral point of view is the issue... Also there is no sourcing as to who is making a statement about it being practical. It is an editors opinion apparently and hence not a good value unless sourced and cited. "In these practical terms" is how Smith is described as presenting the subject, not an evaluation that the subject is in fact practical. --- I suppose you could read it that way.. but it does not seem to be actually presented that way. Who is the person that is calling Smith practical and his terms? ... and if there is such a person that could be sourced after the statement rather than making it sound as though it is a given known by all... that Smith is in the habit of presenting practical information in practical terms. There are many economic theories out there... and the way the intro to his quote is phrased seems to endorse a biased opinion that the thing presented is practical... and that is opinion and not fact. Does it really need any filigreed introduction any way? Probably not. The statement speaks for itself and does not need a qualifier which sounds a little biased as to the information. skip sievert (talk)

factual accuracy tag

The {{disputed}} tag has labeled this page as having possible factual accuracies. That's a pretty serious tag, but I'm not clear on what those supposed inaccuracies are. If there's a preceived POV problem, then perhaps the {{NPOV}} tag should be used instead. Cretog8 (talk) 07:22, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

nnk kkl —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

More information after header

Expanded some info. In The Wealth of Nations, Smith addressed many issues that are currently also the subject of debate and dispute. Smith repeatedly attacks groups of politically aligned individuals who attempt to use their collective influence to manipulate a government into doing their bidding. In Smiths day, these were referred to as "factions," but are now more commonly called special interests, a term which can comprise international bankers, corporate conglomerations, outright oligopolies, trade unions and other groups.(citation Chapter 5. See Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power), [1] on Smith’s emphasis on class conflict in the Wealth of Nations. This may round out some other aspects of Smith who is focused on at the beginning section for perspective that the debate of economic ideas then was intense and is also intense now.skip sievert (talk) 18:08, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

In the beginning

Is not a good way to start a topic header. Readers should be allowed to form their own opinions, not be told that this is the beginning of economics as the world knows it as was the implication of that section until recently when other information was added. The heading says nothing except an unsourced opinion. It is religious sounding. It makes the article sound like readers are going to be exposed to a bunch of editors that perhaps worship Adam Smith as a minor economic god. It imparts nothing. It is controversial. It has been disputed in the past. It was not the beginning of any thing... it is reformulated mostly ... stuff from the past. It is possibly amounts to nonsense or gibberish in the article context. It has come under attack by other editors and it is maintained without any kind of defense by one editor... that makes no argument for it on the talk page. It is simply pushing an idea from an editor. An editor perhaps endorsing an economic model or acclaiming an economic model.

As written, at a minimum, this line (In the beginning), is open to criticism and dispute. That means that In The Beginning is not neutral... any way it is supposedly explained so far, it is not neutral and really smacks of basic error in guidelines of neutrality. You might also consider taking account of Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Failed "good article" nomination in your edit idea of putting In the beginning back in. The consensus was to scrap it a while ago. It appears there is a long history of people not liking the use of this phrase on multiple discussions about that issue. In the beginning should go away, and stay away, if this article wants to present neutral info. Another editor has also argued for this subjective and non neutral phrase in the past In the beginning... quote A pertinent question should be Which heading is likely to entice interest?" end quote User: Thomasmeeks.

I have a basic problem with people (editors) trying to entice any one for any thing or purpose here. That defeats the purpose. Readers should be allowed to form their own opinions and not be subjected to opinions as if opinions are information. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view skip sievert (talk) 22:34, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

For the preceding thread section that comments on the above preceding Edit, see Talk:Economics#Possible alternative phrasing. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 09:40, 4 August 2008 (UTC)


The whole article needs an overhaul. I'd like to do it at the end of this month. The concerns about the curious "in the beginning" section are just one example. As I said above, it should be with the history section.

The problem with this page is not that there isn't a wealth of good information: it's that it is not presented well, and not organised in a logical way. Have a look at the way Mankiw's Economics lays it out (his book is the world's bestseller; I would paste up others, like Samuelson, Stiglitz, Krugman and Lipsey but Amazon doesn't oblige). This page has to be broader and less detailed in some places, and far more detailed (frankly, just better) in others. It should give people an idea of what Economics is, and then send them on to specialist pages. At the moment there's a tendency to just list concepts, but without giving any notion of what something means. I'll give you some examples of where this page's structure makes little sense, for those of you who think that progress may have been made on this page.

  • The first sign that the page is a mess is that the introduction does not even begin to approximate, summarise or introduce the topic and this jungle of an article.
  • Why does micro/macro have little sections half way down, when the first half is explaining much of what microeconomics is about?
  • Why is there a separate section for price and for supply and demand? (supply and demand IS price!)
  • Why is that again separated from marginalism? (the marginalist theory says the price SHOULD equal the cost of the last unit produced; this unfootnoted paragaph, by the way, does not tell me this, nor does it say what marginalism means, is generally poorly written and includes spelling mistakes!!)
  • Why is any of that coming after the production possibility section?
  • There is no simple description of how a market is meant to work. This is not really forgivable. Nowhere does it say, "People with private property can be assumed to be motivated by profit. They work to maximise their utility. Prices are kept under constraint where there is competition, and people are encouraged to innovate and save. Prices of goods approach the lowest possible cost of production, plus a reasonable profit for the producer, and the inefficient drop out of the market. In this way the market produces the maximum possible good for the maximum number." I don't suggest this line, of course, but it is a much better explanation than the jungle there is at present.
  • There is, conversely, no explanation of market failure, and this is likewise unforgivable. This is crucial, and is an example of how the article's priorities are somewhat backward. There are scattered references, but nothing together. There's a sentence or two about externalities under price (why only that only there?), public goods has a link, but we are not told what it means, natural monopoly is never mentioned, information asymmetry is explained under that list of economics categories, etc.
  • I find it even more weird and unforgivable that there is almost no mention of monopoly (and the surrounding industrial organisation stuff, theory of the firm)! I mean, it's just a bit nutty really.
  • The criticism section just does not belong in a Wikipedia article. It's a random collection of observations, and a few equally random footnotes have been shoved in to support it. Partly what makes economics a fascinating subject is the fact that its most severe critics are from within the profession itself. The debates which rage through each sub field should describe the criticism.
  • Similarly, the "economic reasoning" section looks more like it was a criticism section that got renamed. The article should explain economic reasoning as it explains economics itself. I mean who is this Deidre McCloskey woman? Was it someone's teacher? Go on, confess! I'm sure she's lovely and she makes really pertinent points but nobody cares whether her criticisms have gone unheard. They aren't going to get heard by appearing in a disorgnanised Wikipage on economics!
  • This page also looks bad. There are few pictures, paragraphs are all over the place.
  • Lastly, that haphazard list of different branches of economics is a complete non-entity. It is so because it cannot possibly explain what each one is about, and half of them should form part of the main micro/macro discussion.

In general this is a page that is obviously written by people who know something about the field, and can be understood by people who know something about the field. But it doesn't look anything like it's written by someone who knows a lot about the field and it needs to change completely to be accessible to someone who needs an introduction to the field. Wikidea 11:10, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree almost 100% with your assessment above. For starters... and only because it is so blatant, a terrible editing violation of neutrality or maybe just presentation... could you get rid of In the Beginning and replace it with what was there? Politics economics and culture for starters. Even that section I tried to expand recently with a tad bit of history and some other information besides Adam Smith and was fought tooth and nail by two editors here. It appeared as if Adam Smith said Let there be light before. Now at least it is presenting some background.
I think we should use the information you posted here as a guide. The article falls flat on its face now as to readability as you say. Also the lack of pictures... makes it dull. It appears that two editors control the article mostly now. That is not a consensus.. but because they insist on the same what could be viewed as incomplete information, over and over, it derails things here.
Please some one change in the beginning and lets make it disappear forever ... it goes against logic and consensus... and was added again after being debated and found to be not appropriate for a multitude of reasons... and then lets attempt to have an article that explains economics without drawing undue attention to one person.... Adam Smith. I included the info. on his misgivings of the way the price system works also just to present some alternative and whole aspect) ... which was/is a major aspect, but the article needs restructuring for continuity as described above. Also that section is still editor biased by saying...There Smith presents the subject in these practical terms: That is a biased opinion of an editor apparently. That has no place here. It turns this article in to propaganda about an economic agenda endorsed apparently by the writer of that statement and perhaps one or two others.skip sievert (talk) 15:10, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Glad you agree. I think we have to keep our picture of the current article in context of where it came from. When it was featured (when Wikipedia standards were pretty low by all accounts) it had a similar structure to now, and was very thin indeed. This has just been added to randomly, not changed. As I say, end of the month, and I'd like to have a go. Wikidea 16:38, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
I've just noticed something else, no mention of elasticity. Even the areas which the headings purport to cover, it does not even do a most basic job. Wikidea 16:58, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
[Indetntion per corresponding Edit level above.]
Hmm. Evidently "Restructure" is used above to include anything complained about, rather than to its narrower use per "structure" in WP policies and guidelines (as in WP:NPOV and Wikipedia:Layout). A better heading would have "Big overhaul of article?" would have been better IMO. The question mark would appropriately invite discussion and look more neutral. With the long list of other issues earlier, one more item is added immendiately above and carried to the next section by someone else who urges the previous writer to act, as if the previous writer needed nudging (or goading). That is followed by yet another new section without content aside from the heading and an allusion to a previous section. This echo-chamber method of article revision is not necessarily one conductive to focussed discussion, disciplined conversation, or careful Edits. The fishing for spedific Edit changes outside the sections where the issue is pricipally discussed (such as at Talk:Economics#Section 1 heading: "In the beginning"? invites ill-considered action IMO. Above it is mentioned that when "["Ecnomics"} was featured (when Wikipedia standards were pretty low by all accounts) it had a similar structure to now..." I believe that most people would see significant similarites and differences in layout. The startement that the Edits therefrom were added to "randomly" rather than purposefully, is pure assertion. The suggestion that changes in structure were not given a thorough airing, which resulted in action, is unsupporrted by for example Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Article Structure, Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Layout, Talk:Economics/Archive 10#structure changes, Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Sect. 2 moved to follow sect. 3 (renamed to "Basic concepts") & 4, Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Selected fields?, Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Merge sect. 5 "History" & 6 "Schools"? Request for comment, and Talk:Economics/Archive 10#Section 1: heading rationale & more.
On the matter of elasticity, I'd guess that most econonmics textbooks first cover elements of supply and demand, then elasticity only in a later chapter. Of course elasticity is covered in the Main article referenced under the heading of Economics#Supply and demand (before that section was combined with "Prices and quantities" and without adequate chance for discussion) with the long list of other items above (also, to this point, without adequate chance for discussion). The Encyclopedia Britannica "Economics" article (2007, v. 27, p. 348, in " Social Sciences") (2007, v. 27 p. 348) has a nice discussion of supply and demand with no mention of elasticity.
At least the first editor did not urge immediate action. Of course anyone is free to take such action, but it might be imprudent not to allow a chance for discussion or further elaboration. Many of the talking points above are debatable. I'd expect to have a kind of reader's guide to the first Edit above in the next couple of days, but that should not discourage anyone else from beating me to it or adding other comments first. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:05, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Small improvements and then a general reformatting of information with text changes also

The original article it was featured had a better look and feel, even though the information could have been expanded on and improved or whittled down and improved most likely. For the time being, I slightly changed the money section here... and added a picture of what is thought to be the first standardized coin. I also got rid of the awful title again... In the beginning and for crying out loud everyone... please do not add that back in again. It is bunk as to neutrality or even basic presentation. That ground has been pawed over already too many times. Way too many. As has been practically in the beginning part... that is not neutral... it is an opinion. I replaced it with this very simple intro. There Smith presents the subject in this way. That makes a whole lot more objective sense than an editor making a value judgment on its merits or worth, by saying that Smiths ideas are practical or his approach is practical. I also added another picture...the one from when the article was a featured article. This is a great picture. It says a million words. It is a good juxtapose by the Wall Street picture... Economics can be seen in action at this bazaar in Chichicastenango,Guatemala.

Perhaps you Wikidea could stick in elasticity where you think it would be appropriate... at least for now... until the end of the month when a more concerted effort to improve the whole article can happen, if it does not happen before. In the mean time, I am going to do some piece meal editing on it to try and improve it in this incarnation, till you and others can straighten out some of the information by arranging/formatting things differently, and making a concerted effort to remove the weasel words and flowery language that this thing is sprinkled with throughout.skip sievert (talk) 23:50, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Supply and demand, prices and quantities

Combined these two sections that naturally go together subject wise (Supply and demand, prices and quantities), as suggested above. Added info. on market failure as suggested above, with multiple ref. citations toward the beginning of article... as this has presented some basic preliminary .. but vital information in regard to overall topic. Added also oligopolies (wiki article link), and made a connector link to wiki article monopolies, as suggested. Also gave wiki article links to factions and trade unions. Some of this material can be re inserted in the future in other areas, but for now at least the article is not minus it... and the section it is in works, as a place to present the information in an overview. Also removed the long and drawn out criticisms section as suggested above. The debated ideas, as suggested come out in the article itself or could... the information was pretty marginal to say the least marginal information on post-autistic economics for instance. skip sievert (talk) 14:21, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Removal of "History and schools of economics" subsections?

I believe that there is no consensus for the removal of "History and schools of economics" subsections (for example as per additional comments in the preceding section). Such removal was urged at Talk:Economics#Economic side bar, 1st para. toward end. Main articles are not a good substitute for a briefer treatment of each in the Economics#History and schools of economics section itself. Nor should selective history be worked worked in throughout the article, which I believe would result in endless WP:NPOV debates, the foretaste of which may be recent additions to section 1 of the article. History is favored by some heterodox economics approaches, which further complicates WP:NPOV in wrking in history throughout the article. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:09, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

threaded talk

Hello--I haven't been able to participate recently, and that will probably continue for a bit. I did want to make a request/suggestion for the talk page. Please don't make a habit of going back and editing your comments. This page isn't the article, so most flaws are harmless, or can be corrected by adding a short additional comment instead of editing the earlier one.

The problem with going back to edit your comments is that it makes it very tricky to keep track of the conversation; which part of a comment is "new" can get lost, a change to a comment which you might consider important might get missed because it's to an old comment; you might edit a comment so that following replies don't make sense, and so forth. I noticed a fair amount of this from several editors when I just tried to review comments since the last time I was here. (Obviously, there are exceptions when it's a good idea, but those are pretty rare.)

Thanks! Cretog8 (talk) 23:12, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Environmental economics

That part of the article previously said that Environmental economics and Ecological economics were not to be conflated. That was wrong, or not factual information. At the very least the phrasing using that word (not to be conflated) was misplaced. They are related but different. So, made a more explicit aspect in the article as to that, by adding a couple of linked citations as to what both are ... and the new paragraph below the old one below.

Environmental economics is concerned with issues related to degradation, enhancement, or preservation of the environment. In particular, public bads from production or consumption, such as air pollution, can lead to market failure. The subject considers how public policy can be used to correct such failures. Policy options include regulations that reflect cost-benefit analysis or market solutions that change incentives, such as emission fees or redefinition of property rights.[86][87]

Environmental economics is related to ecological economics but there are differences.[88] Most environmental economists have been trained as economists. They apply the tools of economics to address environmental problems, many of which are related to so-called market failures--circumstances wherein the "invisible hand" of economics is unreliable.[89] Most ecological economists have been trained as ecologists, but have expanded the scope of their work to consider the impacts of humans and their economic activity on ecological systems and services, and vice-versa. This field takes as its premise that economics is a strict subfield of ecology. Ecological economics is sometimes described as taking a more pluralistic approach to environmental problems and focuses more explicitly on long-term environmental sustainability and issues of scale. (new area above)

Here are the new references citations added to the second paragraph... that point out the differences and alikeness. NBER Working Group Descriptions. This one on Environmental econ. and this one Article Topic: ecological economics. Which is on Ecological economics.

Also added more very basic history of economic thought beginnings in the lower History section of article. skip sievert (talk) 18:43, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Picture caption of Russian bazaar

Ashgabat is in Turkmenistan. -- (talk) 08:06, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out. It has been changed. --Patrick (talk) 08:10, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

"Economic reasoning" section

The Economics#Economic reasoning was deleted in the previous section (misnamed as to the removal) with this statement:

Removed the Economic Reasoning section. No reason for it. The article should bring out information as a matter of course...and as mentioned above, by wikiidea, this is just another thinly disguised criticisms section that is ranty with marginal theory, not interesting, side issue debates.

There is corresponding material in principles textbooks, the Britannica article, etc. as cited in the section. It is a discussion of methods and examples of economic reasoning, whether critical. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:49, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Economic reasoning section needs to return, as does the criticism section, although both could be trimmed. The idea that these should be hidden throughout the article is ludicrous. Instead, they should be part of sections devoted to these ideas, so that the reader can find these things. It looks like there are a lot of changes going on without consensus. II | (t - c) 21:00, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:18, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd like it if criticism could be put into the appropriate places in the article rather than ghettoized into its own section, and that's the style goal for WP in general. It's also really hard.
I moved the economic reasoning section to "practice" section--the bulk of what was in there was about how professional economists do economics--methodology. Economic reasoning is generally considered to be the basic notions that underlie mainstream economic practice--thinking on the margin, trade-offs, no money left on the table, and such. I have mixed feelings about a section on such things because it would be hard to do it without becoming redundant with more sepcific parts of the article. Anyway, the material in the previous "economic reasoning" section wasn't that. Cretog8 (talk) 04:33, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Malthus picture and description in sidebar information in Classical Economics section.

Added... a sidebar section on Malthus. A lot of interesting and pertinent link connectors in that box. It includes far ranging elements of the economic debate of the period and influences. skip sievert (talk) 14:54, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Hi Skip. Pre-emptive comment--I'll appear more critical of your edits than I really am, just because it's the negatives that I feel I need to react to, while I can just lie back and appreciate the positives. Thanks for your work.
The Malthus sidebar doesn't belong here. Sure, it contains useful stuff, but a sidebar is a big deal so a Malthus sidebar gives Malthus undue weight. There are pictures of Marx and Keyes close by, and they (as well as others) are more prominent than Malthus and so would merit a sidebar first. But I don't think that any specific economist merits a sidebar in this article, they can be saved for the articles on those economists. If there's links contained within the sidebar that are valuable and appropriate for the article, they should be in the text of the article. Cretog8 (talk) 03:25, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
It may be that a picture of Malthus would fit nicely in the article--I'm not so good at figuring out the pictures stuff. Cretog8 (talk) 03:27, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Malthus cautioned law makers on the effects of poverty reduction policies.
Effect on society section should perhaps go now. Also the Ethics and economics section. Mostly the information is unfocused. It has been a while since they were tagged. Other areas in the article address the issues mostly in context... or should perhaps to more of a degree of rhetoric polemic? Thanks much for the positive feedback. There may be a picture of Malthus around somewhere. skip sievert (talk) 17:16, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

This picture seems to do the job. Added to article. skip sievert (talk) 17:28, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Historic definitions of economics

I'm removing the "Historic definitions of economics" section. This is one of the places where the article delved too deep into stuff which belongs in other articles. I have placed the material from the section at my scratchpad for easy referral. Cretog8 (talk) 09:42, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I agree. This is what WP:SUMMARIZE is for. Anything useful can go in an article such as History of economic thought. -FrankTobia (talk) 15:54, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Production possibilities, opportunity cost, and efficiency

Production Possibility Curve

The problem with this picture is, it looks awful whether big or small because it is made originally apparently bleary. It is an eyestrain to look at it. If doubled in size it looks bad... and smaller it looks bad... maybe not quite as bad because there is less of it to see. Does any one have an alternative copy of this information.. that is done well? Could a picture be found or made that gets this information across... that is well done... not out of focus?skip sievert (talk) 21:33, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Also the section Production possibilities, opportunity cost, and efficiency seems hopelessly confusing as is... I have simplified it ... so now the picture probably asked for above may not be an issue. The info. in there before, is just too complicated and convoluted, or was as presented. I have given the bare bones basics as to the subject. The article links are there on the top for interested parties who want to dig in deeper. That section bogged down the article with information from the main sites it quotes... in bits and pieces ... so that it may be better to just give a little of the basic basic info.

I'm not sure how this section should go. It seems like the sectioning may be going too many levels. But if the sectioning is going to go down that many levels, then it should be as actual sections. Cretog8 (talk) 03:34, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
The downsizing of the Image as above makes the text smaller than that of other figures & very hard to read. The allegedly blurred image referenced by the first Editor is no blurrier than say the Template at the top of this page. A non-existent reason is no reason at all for removal of the image and explanatory text by one user. The removal of the Image and of all referenced content with its replacement is shocking. There is no reason for new subsections, at least as earlier written. The heading with the 2 other topice was unified by the production-possibility frontier, now removed from discussion. That destroys the anaytical cohesion that links the topics. A series of definitions and classifications does not add up to uses of their uses. For the record, here (as of July 26) is what the section looked like before the recent series of Edits by one user, compared to after. I think that most readers would consider the changes by far inferior as to analytical content. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:13, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Thomas, my brain is too thick at the moment to make the comparison, but I wanted to let you know that I will come back to it and compare the versions. Cretog8 (talk) 16:43, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

A note on criticism sections

I noticed Cretog8's comment above in the "Economic reasoning" section, which could be roughly paraphrased as "Wiki policy is that criticism should be worked into the page". This is a widely-held misconception. Wikipedia has no defined policy on criticism sections. Some people heavily dislike them, others think they are sometimes necessary. I'm in the latter camp. The template discouraging criticism sections was put up for deletion (9 keeps, 10 deletes) because there is no consensus on this issue. When someone is directing a critique at a subject, that critique often properly belongs in a criticism section. The argument that they are a symptom of bad writing just ignores the compelling argument that they are a service to readers' who want to hear the criticisms of the subject, not for trollish reasons, but because critiques expose problems which deserve attention. Inserting criticisms which are not a part of the basic exposition can make for a disorganized essay, and make the criticisms impossible to find. Now, in many cases critiques can be forked off, and I think that the "Preoccupation with mathematics" is a decent fork (although I'm still pondering it). Similarly, the ethics criticisms could perhaps be simply forked off into an ethics section. Incidentally, there was recently a book published by a high-profile economist on how economics is bad for ethics, ie it makes people more greedy. Anyone recall what it was? The book was definitely more of a critique from what I heard, not an exposition. II | (t - c) 19:59, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

I think the template has been altered since the TFD to better reflect the consensus. See areas such as WP:NPOV#Article Sturcture, Wikipedia:Words to avoid#Article structure, & Wikipedia:Pro and con lists. Morphh (talk) 20:24, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
A little more. Relevant primary sources are also the Wikipedia:Controversial articles guideline & Wikipedia:Neutral point of view#Achieving neutrality policy (per relevant subsections). As to criticism of the subject broadly speakiing, heterodox economics might come closest to warranting a separate section. As to Math econ, the Encyclopædia Britannica article by Mark Blaug on econ. has a sentence at the end of the math econ. section suggesting the dangers of modeling assumptions based on math convenience. That sentence might be relevant to Wikipedia:Neutral point of view#Article structure and Undue weight subsections. On ethics, arguably that's either about welfare economics, normative economics, or economists (or majors). Producing greedy people might be a heterodox critique of mainstream economics. Survey data to support the charge might be of interest, but that would seem tangential to the subject of econ. as a whole. I think Blaug writes that every great economist expressed a desire to change the world for the better. How bad can that be? On a different topic, economists come in all political flavors, so that should not be an issue. In academe, my impression is that survey data do not find a huge difference in their politics from their colleagues in other dept., at least at elite institutions. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:28, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks all. I stand corrected, though still not enlightened. The various non-policies on this matter are bewildering. In any case, for myself it may be irrelevant since I'm not a good enough writer (yet?!) to do the optimal allocation of criticisms to their right places in the article.
I do have one strong preference, which I already acted on somewhat. I think that internal criticisms should be separate from external criticisms. That is, I think criticisms that are economists making arguments aimed at other economists that economics can be practiced better should be separate from criticisms (from any source) of some aspects of economics which are of general interest. For instance, I think the McCloskey critique (or critiques) are valuable, but really of interest to practicing economists rather than the general public. Criticisms that mainstream economic thought promotes irresponsible consumerism are a matter of general interest (and still seem very awkward in the article, but that's something else). Cretog8 (talk) 00:23, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Well.. I did add that Adam Smith quote above and that certainly is a criticism.. but also part of his overall approach to bring out that information... so that people could look at it and debate it... I am sure. He apparently felt strongly about it. I am no Chomsky fan at all... but Chomsky brought out the criticism in one of his books
Chapter 5... and perhaps this information could go into a criticism section later... but it seemed to fit all right into the section it was put in. Seems to me that all or most of the points on criticism are better if incorporated into the article if possible. Then it is more organic perhaps, if opposing ideas are presented in context... as long as it is made apparent, that is what they are. As far as a separate section on heterodox... not sure it is needed. There is a main article link to it.. at the top. In the mean time I just did some grunt work... added under ::::Externalities and market failure
It looks like there is one more section were main articles have to be under the heading. At any rate... so what about removing the Effect on society and also the Ethics and economics sections. Or combining them into a real criticism section that is more focused... and hits a bunch of things and not just a couple, and related things. skip sievert (talk) 01:34, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

A section titled "Criticisms of economic models" should be just that. Many of the included criticisms are not of economic models, so it's mis-named. Also see comments below on sectioning. This section might need improvement, but the recent changes are bad. Cretog8 (talk) 17:15, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Could you go to the section where this is being discussed on the bottom of the page. It is hard to follow otherwise. It is that.... There is no wikipedia article of that name... just differing economic philosophy article. It is not misnamed. They are not bad as you say without argument. It is a reshuffling of the existing info. Please go to the section below. skip sievert (talk) 17:28, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Financial economics & Schools of economics

added a link to the main article

to the that section. Also added Schools of economics main article link

skip sievert (talk) 16:04, 14 August 2008 (UTC)


Unless there's some bit of MoS I've missed (quite possible), sections should be sections. In other words, if there's a piece of the article which is set apart with a title, etc., then that should happen via wiki markup for sectioning, not just layout and bolding and such. Cretog8 (talk) 16:59, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes.. you may have missed the fact that the sectioned was tagged for removal in general because the information was mostly unsourced... and incoherently presented in several sections... and how many sections should be in an area like that?. Now there is a subsection on Ethics which connects a main article Ethics

Main article: Philosophy of economics

Maybe you did not see that before you reverted it. That whole so called Criticism area was not really focused. That is why it was tagged for either removal or improvement for unsourced material. I have removed most of the unsourced or un cited material ... and combined... what was left. Just having that Philosophy of economics in this area is important. People can look into that section then themselves easily. Since the idea of a Criticisms sections has been debated and it is disputed... I have compromised... gotten rid of some, and made the rest more understandable. That does not mean it can not be edited now for improvement. Why revert it though? It is better (my opinion) now than it was formerly when tagged up every which way to, clean up. skip sievert (talk) 17:17, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I did see that, and I'm currently agnostic as to whether that's appropriate. What I note here is simply that if you sub-section things, they should be subsections, not set off by spaces and bold text. What I noted in the thread on the criticism section above was that your section title is wrong. Cretog8 (talk) 17:29, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Criticisms of economic models

Many of the issues in the criticism section are not addressed at economic models. For instance, "The premise of ethical consumerism is that one should take into account ethical and environmental concerns, in addition to financial and traditional economic considerations, when making buying decisions." So, the title "Criticism" is better. Cretog8 (talk) 17:33, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Ok great... but... we are talking about Criticisms... variable criticism... by a series of people. All differing. That means Criticisms. That is information that was reformulated from the previous incarnation of confused material of several sections. Mostly I just left the stuff that was cited or sourced. It is a plural bunch of criticisms though under economic philosophy so... I disagree about the title. It is multiple Critiques.
I mean incrementally add more neutral and interesting information, and get rid of redundant info. Remember when you ditched the section on Politics economics and culture or In the beginning.. or what ever. That was an improvement. What is wrong with an economics bar that focuses on economics? That is what the article is about... right? Economics. It has links and information otherwise not in the article. Another editor accepted it gracefully... and even moved it to better advantage.... when it was newly on there. skip sievert (talk) 17:43, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Economics side bar

Within economic sytems, economics is not a subcategory. quote... Thomasmeeks. Oh really? How could that be? That does not make a lot of sense. What do you mean by sub category any way? Please leave the side bar alone. It is full of economics related material. It was created for a purpose such as this by other wikipedians. That is what the article is about. Also that awful picture of the stock market floor should be permanently ash canned. It is blurred. It is hard to look at. I put the other picture up again which is at least a little interesting and connects with the roots of the subject. Also please leave the connector link Thomasmeeks to , thermoeconomics, and technocracy which it now appears you are taking down for unknown reasons. I did not originally put them there... but they should remain... or do you think that those two information articles should be removed from wikipedia ? These are important topics. skip sievert (talk) 00:00, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

I have to disagree with you on the stock exchange image. I think it's a good image and I don't feel it's hard to look at all. The image that you have added is really quite bad, it's dark, and very unclear at what we are looking at. It is not a lead image at all. The sidebar is fine, but should be moved up so it's below the lead image. --Patrick (talk) 00:08, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok. Patrick. I like the old stone thing because it really is the beginning point. That blurred picture (Stock market floor picture) though could give someone a seizure. It is really badly blurred and really is annoying to even look at (my opinion). I will move the side bar now if it fits. Put the old original picture on top.. from when the article was a featured article. The picture of the marketplace Economics can be seen in action at this bazaar in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. skip sievert (talk) 00:14, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a huge fan of that picture either. The first time I saw it, i thought it was people climbing rubble. I'm looking though commons now and came across this photo Image:Russian Baazar.jpg --Patrick (talk) 00:43, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
I like the one you found... the Russian market. Could you shrink it down and put it in? We could move the other market one down then, into the money section of the article much lower, where it was. Glad you agree on the sidebar.. that seems like way to good of information to not use. skip sievert (talk) 00:55, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok I added in the Russian market image. I moved up the sidebar and moved the stock exchange image down. There no reason to have two photos of markets in this article so I removed Image:Market-Chichicastenango.jpg. --Patrick (talk) 01:05, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok... but you are contradicting yourself by saying that. The stock market picture you moved down is only another picture of a market or market place also. The top of the article, does look and feel very nice with the change you made. I still think we should ash can that blurred picture of the Wall Street exchange. It is painful to look at. skip sievert (talk) 01:10, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
1. The problems with the Economic Systems side bar per Talk:Economics#Economic side bar above have now been been moved to the Lead. According to the convenient and widely-used JEL classification codes, economics as a subject can be classified into 19 categories (JEL A to R + Z). Economic Systems is one of those (JEL P). Placing the side bar of Economic Systems in the Lead singles out one category above all the rest: That's arguably non-WP:NPOV as to the subject as a whole. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 00:02, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we could create a template based on the content in JEL. I think something should be there rather then just whitespace. --Patrick (talk) 01:31, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Whats wrong with it? It is one mass of economic information now the way it is. That is supposed to be the subject here... correct? It is a maze of economic information. All good. skip sievert (talk) 01:41, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
I can say something thats probably arguably non WP:NPOV as to the subject as a whole. That is that you Thomasmeeks have played the obstructionist at every turn of this process... even now Wikipedia:Ownership of articles - ... and have fought every attempt to make the article more interesting and broaden the information (my opinion). Unless that is just my imagination... and it appears not to be. The article looks half way alright now... I hope you could actually look for new ways to improve the article, rather than defending an old edit that by popular opinion looked awful. skip sievert (talk) 01:23, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Skipsievert, I really think your comments are uncalled for. Don't be personal. --Patrick (talk) 01:29, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Well that is your opinion. My opinion is that I am telling it the way I see it and a little honesty is not really bad for the editing process... is it?, am I supposed to pretend that that person...never once says any thing positive or if so qualifies it endlessly with negatives?
Besides that person has specifically engaged me on my talk page... which I was not happy about.. and also had many many comments directed toward me, and has consistently reverted what in my opinion is good information in favor of his information. Also the fact that he has his own mock up version on his user page ... makes me wonder if as said about ownership... mostly due to a total resistance at all times to what I would call improvements .. example... In the beginning... which was fought out over and over and over and probably never should have been there in the first place. My only interest here is improving this... and I do not think I am getting personal... just pointing out what I see happening. The article does not look so bad now... it looks pretty good. Why not be open about that. It looks a whole lot better. The sidebar and new picture look good. The information in the side bar is appropriate and complements the other information. skip sievert (talk) 01:33, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

2. Thanks to each. The preceding except for the last sentence above is a distraction* from (1). The last sentence above appears entirely subjective and unresponsive to (1). The Lead now has a conspicuous sidebar whose presence frames econ through an Economic-Systems lens. How can that not give the appearance of non-WP:NPOV vs. any other category of the JEL codes?

* I’d be happy to discuss the “distraction” with anyone on my Talk page, observing Wikipedia:Disruptive editing-and-other guidelines & sticking to the subject, so as not to distract others on this page. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 03:35, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
The neutral point of view is a means of dealing with conflicting verifiable perspectives on a topic as evidenced by reliable sources (In this case a well done side bar that is filled with information on the subject of economics). The policy requires that where multiple or conflicting perspectives exist within a topic each should be presented fairly (The side bar has gone through the process of neutrality of articles). None of the views should be given undue weight or asserted as being judged as "the truth", in order that the various significant published viewpoints are made accessible to the reader, not just the most popular one (Multiple and varying views are in the side bar). It should also not be asserted that the most popular view, or some sort of intermediate view among the different views, is the correct one to the extent that other views are mentioned only pejoratively (The side bar does not take sides). Readers should be allowed to form their own opinions from good information presented fairly... and each article in the sidebar is directly related to economics and has gone through the gauntlet of being a wiki article already.skip sievert (talk) 04:03, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
3. If there were a sidebar for any other of the 18 JEL categories (say, History of Economic Thought) comparable to that for Economic Systems, it would be equally non-WP:NPOV and misplaced. The preceding does not meet (1-2). Comments welcome. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 11:53, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
History of economic thought? How does that apply? Is there a sidebar that exists for that? That is already linked and in the article? No. Most of the side bar information is not in the article presently... and that is the source of its importance... because it gives a multitude of interesting links and connectors... all economics related. A side bar for History of economic thought would be extremely limited. The current side bar is not limited. It is a wealth of material and information. All of economics is in some sort of system. Some form of administration.. and some form of political structure or projected non political structure. This side bar now seems like the perfect connector to that storehouse of more information ... much of which .. as said, not in the present article. It is an easy way to expand the information with links for interested parties needing more related information. The whole idea is to get information out. Good information. That is a compact way to do it. The sidebar is not neutral you are claiming. Sorry... that does not make sense. How could it not be neutral? The side bar is misplaced you say. How could that be? It is only and all about economics. skip sievert (talk) 14:22, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
The economic systems sidebar doesn't fit in this article. This article is not "Part of a series on Economic Systems". It's not a matter of whether there's useful information in the sidebar, it's whether it's appropriate for this article. If there's links there that are appropriate for this article, they can and should be included in the article itself. Cretog8 (talk) 03:39, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Responding to comment with this reversion. It doesn't matter how many or how good the links are. The sidebar is meant to accompany articles which are "Part of a series on Economic Systems", as it says right up top. This article is not part of that series. Therefore this sidebar is inappropriate. Any links which are appropriate for this article can and should be included in the article itself. As long as there's a section on Economic systems, that would be one obvious place for them. Cretog8 (talk) 16:17, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Absent any response, I'm removing it again. Skip, if your understanding of this is unchanged and you don't want to discuss it, please at least wait for others to weigh in before reverting. Cretog8 (talk) 17:24, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Economics has a rainbow of categories. Economic Systems is only one of those many categories per the JEL classification codes, at JEL: P. There is no reason why that should be the sidebar prism in the Lead through which all the other categories in economics are refracted. It would be nice if there were a sidebar for JEL classification codes, but picking category over all the others is not a good solution. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 18:12, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
It appears we're officially into edit war territory. Skip, you seem to believe you have consensus here. In fact, there is far from consensus, probably just because so few editors have weighed in. So far, I evaluate the discussion as two strong "No" (Thomasmeeks and I), one strong "Yes" (you), and one soft "Yes" (Patrick). That's not consensus either way. Cretog8 (talk) 17:39, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Meant to add this a few days ago but after reading over the discussion, I'm now opposed to the sidebar. I still feel something should go there but I agree with Cretog and Thomas reasoning. Cheers. --Patrick (talk) 02:54, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Thats nice.. but the debate is on the bottom of the page... Also.. whether there is a consensus or not... has very little to do with whether the economics sidebar is going in. If there is no reason for it to be there, why would not that wealth of information not be added? You are not giving an argument here... just stating you oppose it. Why?skip sievert (talk) 03:01, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Politics economics and culture / origins / in the beginning

On second thought, I'm just cutting this section out, it's too much of a garble now. I've preserved it for the time being at my scratchpad to make it easy to retrieve stuff from it, since I'm sure some of it should wind up in the article somewhere. Cretog8 (talk) 03:51, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

How could "Politics economics & culture" have lasted since July 26?

(Please don't hesitate to comment above if that is your focus.) It is an interesting question how a quotation by Adam Smith could be construed as so partial that according to one Editor, the (now-removed) section 1 needed to go from this to this, complete with heading change to "Politics, economics and culture" -- and that's after the certain-not-to-make-the-final-cut Economic Systems sidebar was moved to ... the Lead (on which see Talk:Economics#Economics side bar). (A rationale for the long-standng earlier section is at Talk:Economics#Reorganized a few sections arguments on the added meterial, for (1-3) and agaist, see Talk:Economics#Physiocrats. The heading "Politics, economics and culture" lasted since July 26, despite its irrelevance to the section (unless one accepts that mention of an ancient civilization (Mesopotamian) and the word "political" in the whole phrase "political economy" as sufficient warrant for the heading , which is preposterous). Why did it last so long? Two users challenged the new heading (at Talk:Economics#Possible alternative phrasing), but Talk sections & counterclaims by one user proliferated as the article and Talk page was overwhelmed by additional Edits. Lasting lessons doubtless will be learned from this experience.

For what it’s worth, I think the section symbolizes what can happen to an article from sufficient determination of a single prolific Editor insufficiently challenged. or reverted. Establishment of a beachhead in sect. 1 seems to have been only the first phase of a drastic article rewrite. If the section removal is not contested, that would be evidence that the editor in question was satisfied with its removal. What we have then is a nice algorithm for removing a section: freight it with so many features that are objected to by others, that removal seems the easiest way out. The prospective reader can’t complain, because s/he neve gets a chance to read it. Very neat. –Thomasmeeks (talk) 02:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

This sounds like a conspiracy theory to me pal. Really the article is about twice as good as before. A real effort has been made to improve it, not just defend a version that seemed to be held for the most part... not very highly, at all. I appears that you are making a very highly veiled attack above in some direction or another... but I can not follow it. Phrased in shadowy language. In the mean time the article is drastically improved... and that is not preposterous at all. Economic systems sidebar, by popular acclaim, looks good and provides excellent information. How could it have lasted? The larger question may be In the beginning and how it was that it was there anyway. skip sievert (talk) 03:09, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
The second Editor above ("SEor," so it's not personal) can take full responsibility for what the section 1 of the article became, leading to its removal. A conspiracy theory implies something hidden. What has happened to the article & on this page recently is quite open and bad enough without conspiracy. I believe that most readers familiar with both an earlier version and Economics now would consider the latter a great degradation. Another example is discussed at Talk:Economics#Production possibilities, opportunity cost, and efficiency above, now section 1.1. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:41, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I guess you are serious... The earlier version was decried as a mess before its change by multiple editors. Now it has some pictures on it that are not out of focus. The information particularly at the beginning is simplified and intelligible. The article is main article linked ... it was not much before. You may be emotionally invested... it seems in your version.. but that should not lead to Wikipedia:Ownership of articles. The discussions before the improvement were mostly centered around the version that no one hardly liked... and was complained about... and continuously reverted to your version. skip sievert (talk) 19:51, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Just to weigh in in case comments like that above give the wrong impression. It's not at all clear that most editors prefer the current revision of the article to the version of (say) 2 months ago. I don't believe there's any evidence here on the talk page that that is the consensus. Skip, obviously you feel your edits are improvements, otherwise you wouldn't have made them. That's understood. Cretog8 (talk) 20:45, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
As I've said in previous comments, it became unclear what that section was for. Obviously, the vague title had something to do with that lack of clarity. In any case, without some such clarity, the section was irredeemable. If the section, in earlier incarnations, was intended to be a snippet of history before the bulk of the article, then I'm not sure something like that is appropriate. (And when I say, "I'm not sure" I really mean that. I'm intending to go look at other articles to see if they have similar sections, and how they're handled.
I do encourage anyone to go grab material from the section which I've preserved for now at my scratchpad to re-incorporate.Cretog8 (talk) 21:02, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Well thanks for the scratch pad but all the versions are archived in the article and can be retrieved. I agree with the basic sentiment above... it.. the Adam Smith section did not really belong there in the first place... since it was there.. I was only trying to balance it. As said, economics in general, is not an homage to Smith.. and mostly he just presented recycled material from the past... cleverly and relatively in a humanitarian way... for the 18th. century. As said in another section below.. I have already salvaged and added some material from there... stuff cited in the Chomsky book to Specialization, division of labour, (The quote from Smith about factions and gains from trade which mentions Smith and Wealth of Nations. This is probably a better place for that info. to end up in anyway. In the beginning section hopefully is never to appear again. It worked originally as an advertisement for Smith, which is not needed... and thats about all. skip sievert (talk) 02:36, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Expanded... Specialization, division of labour, and gains from trade

Expanded just a little to include some documented misgivings also of Smith, that says directly what he thought could be problems in the overall economic system... and issues related to labour, trade, and specialization.. Here....

In The Wealth of Nations, Smith addressed many issues that are currently also the subject of debate and dispute. Smith repeatedly attacks groups of politically aligned individuals who attempt to use their collective influence to manipulate a government into doing their bidding. In Smiths day, these were referred to as factions, but are now more commonly called special interests, a term which can comprise international bankers, corporate conglomerations, outright oligopolies, monopolies, trade unions and other groups.[18]

This makes a good counterpoint to the first ideas presented... that it has to be looked at also in the broader context... and Smith did indeed look at the broader context also... and not just present ideas as at all perfect. skip sievert (talk) 17:02, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Moved this bit to the "market failure" section. It's still a bit awkward, but makes more sense there (unless moved to public choice or something). Cretog8 (talk) 01:32, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
The reason I put it where it was ... because it was a Smith related part of the article any way and connected with Specialization, division of labour, and gains from trade as in how those can be compromised. It may have been better where it was, so I changed it back. It was a counter balance to making it appear that Smith was all sweetness and light about those issues and not a social critic also. It was located in the area that discussed those subjects and what happens when things are misguided or compromised with those subjects... as to political interference. skip sievert (talk) 02:38, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Smith said lots of stuff, but that section isn't about Smith it's about certain ideas which Smith talked about (as well as others). And then there's these other ideas, which are not about gains from trade, specialization, etc. So, they don't belong in that section. If those different ideas do belong in the same section, then (as best I can see) that section would have to be Smith-specific. Cretog8 (talk) 03:20, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I think the following sentence captures what's essential about that paragraph: "In The Wealth of Nations, Smith pointed out that special interests (or "factions") use their collective influence to manipulate a government into doing their bidding." Thoughts? Cretog8 (talk) 03:24, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
No, that cuts the very important information to much. The point is to let people know that Smith viewed things in a complex way. The full text of it now says that... The section also starts out with Smith commentary and also discusses the mechanics of Smiths ideas, and Smiths counterpoint of criticism related to the basics of his ideas. It is a short paragraph now.. shortening it further removes counterpoint information. Presenting real counterpoint and actual criticism in the article makes it more balanced. It is important to present a well rounded view of Smith. It is only a few lines.. but gives a lot of information.. and directly connects to the subject in the section. Smiths misgivings and his own critique. The actual Adam Smith article puts a special emphasis about this as regards Smith,... and really this information presents, a nice thumbnail of it ... as is. skip sievert (talk) 16:00, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
On second thought another editor (Imperfectly informed) suggested moving it also... and there is one section it probably could easily belong in. That is the criticisms section. It feels more organically appropriate there... so moved it again.skip sievert (talk) 21:40, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Removed two side bars

Removed the two unrelated side bars in lower section. If an actual Economics side bar is felt to be inappropriate to put in an economic article, for some... then a Business/Political .. and Utilitariansim sidebar probably should not be here either. Particularly the political sidebar, maybe the economics related business one could be in... but that may be debatable since this is not a business article and it contains political business information also.

I'm with you on the Utilitarianism box (although I might cut it some slack since it's in the "see also" section). The portal link certainly belongs... I'm fuzzy on where in an article is the best place for such a link, so I'll put it back in that spot for now. Cretog8 (talk) 17:07, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
So maybe we could put the Part of a series on Economic Systems side bar in the See also section also?...
As with Utilitarianism, I "might cut it some slack" there, but I don't think either really belongs. And if both of them, plus perhaps others, get included in "See also", that will become (more of) a mess. Cretog8 (talk) 21:40, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Here's a related issue. I haven't brought it up yet because I'm not ready to propose a solution. The "See also" section is pretty overwhelming. I think it should be radically trimmed, or organized, or put in boxes or... as I say I'm not ready to propose a solution yet, but I figured it's worth bringing up here so that not too much winds up riding on that section as is. Cretog8 (talk) 21:44, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I like that area for the reason you may not like it. It is a catch basin for stuff that is important... which there just is a lot of because of this subject. Stuff that may not be touched on hardly in the article... but stuff that a serious person looking for directly related information on economic related things, that are not always well known... can skim... and perhaps find information, other wise not in the article, or barely mentioned in the article, but perhaps important. skip sievert (talk) 22:09, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

The Business and economics portal contains an interesting quote which could be viewed as propaganda really for Libertarians. What we need and can hope to achieve is not more power in the hands of irresponsible international economic authorities but, on the contrary, a superior political power which can hold the economic interests in check, and in the conflict between them can truly hold the scales, because it is itself not mixed up in the economic game. The need is for an international political authority which, without power to direct the different people what they must do, must be able to restrain them from action which will damage others. The powers which must devolve on an international authority are not the new powers assumed by the states in recent times but that minimum of powers without which it is impossible to preserve peaceful relationships, i.e., essentially the powers of the ultra-liberal "laissez faire" state. —Friedrich Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, 1944

Seems like an odd thing to promote here. skip sievert (talk) 16:45, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

I think that different quotes appear in that space, look at the archive (which is linked on the quote box). Cretog8 (talk) 17:07, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

bot archiving

The talk page is looking a bit big right now. Does anyone object if I set up an automated bot to archive old discussions? I was thinking 45 days would probably be the right time period. --Patrick (talk) 06:45, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Since I was on the bot page already, I decided to add in the code and have it automatically archived after 45 days. Please revert if you disagree. --Patrick (talk) 07:19, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Good idea. Thanks for setting it up. -FrankTobia (talk) 09:21, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
The proliferation of sections, more than a few dealing with the related topics with cross referenceing I believe makes at least 60 days since last Edit advisable. Does "45 days refer" to snce last Edit? --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:53, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
It's the last date of a comment made in the section. I think 45 days is good for now, but things start slowing down here, we can always make it longer --Patrick (talk) 21:09, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, there is an unprecedented traffic on the Talk page, not all of it digested. Ttat argues for longer, not shorter archiving. What is the practical problem with 60 days? It is bad enoough opending up new threads unnecessarily. Why break direct access to earlier threads as well? --Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:43, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok i changed it to 60 days. --Patrick (talk) 22:55, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Economic side bar

Placed a general economics side bar toward the top (Part of a series on Economic Systems). This may be a handy ref. for people wishing to skim around related branches of economics and business concepts and maximizes directly related information toward the beginning. Moved the picture of A. Smith just a little... to an area that discusses him that is still prominently toward the top. Included marginalism section to section above it Supply and demand, prices and quantities. Removed the Economic Reasoning section. No reason for it. The article should bring out information as a matter of course...and as mentioned above, by wikiidea, this is just another thinly disguised criticisms section that is ranty with marginal theory, not interesting, side issue debates. Lastly, that haphazard list of different branches of economics is a complete non-entity. It is so because it cannot possibly explain what each one is about, and half of them should form part of the main micro/macro discussion. Very much agree with this editor. History of economic thought can be explain this all better than this section of piece meal little vignettes that are not so hot and not so detailed... so, removed this area... which lengthens the article for no good reason... and am putting special emphasis to direct people to the other pages that specialize in each of these people and their ideas, which can do a good job of dissecting that information. As it was the article had way to much length that needn't have to be... just by giving the article links... most of which are well done in their own right and just plain explain the info. better.

Moved some pictures around... Put the first economic law codes on the top of article and moved the market place picture down farther... in the Supply and demand, prices and quantities area... the picture with this discription... Some different currencys, exchange rates are determined in currency markets used in international trade. with the pictures of different currency. skip sievert (talk) 16:29, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

The Edit summary for the article was good, but the heading above doesn't say where it occurs, decreasing its information value (a general problem for many such headings unfortunately), making closer scrutiny less likely. (Use of the "new section" tab is better for indication the name of the new section.) The Economic Systems sidebar is misplaced in section 1, despite the remarkable success so far of changing the section 1 heading to something also quite wrong ("Politics, economics and culture"), as per Talk:Economics#Possible alternative phrasing). The side bar attempts to make the section about still something else, economic systems. An economic system occurs in a culture, but that does not make the system about the culture. Economics is not contained in economic systems. So, it looks like non-WP:NPOV to include the sidebar here. The same holds if the sidebar is placed in Economic#Economic systems. Economic systems are contained in economics, not the other way around. An argument for restoring the Snith image to Sect. 1 is that it is appropriate for that section and for the next 2 subsections. The first, Economics#Production possibilities, opportunity cost, and efficiency is an analytical treatment of a problem (scarcity) that Smith treated with the promise that his quotation suggested. If the sidebar went, why not move the Smith image back up? --Thomasmeeks (talk) 19:14, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
When I began workiing on this above there wer only the first 3 sentances. 3 more Edits were added by the time I posted all different topics from the above. No reader would have a clue those topice were discussed on the Talk page from either the associated article Edits or the section heading. The recent history of the Talk page and the article may themselves make history and pose interesting questions. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:03, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Possibly. For that reason it may be a good idea to go to the bottom of the talk page in the future, when making commentary. It can become confusing. I went back to this section because I wanted to add related material to the edits made previously. skip sievert (talk) 22:10, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

The article is not an homage to Smith. Smith is a part of economic history, past and present, and should not be over emphasized. The economic side bar presents information where it should be ... very near the top for reference.
What do you mean by this statement Thomasmeeks quote, Economics is not contained in economic systems... end quote. I do not know.. but to be honest, I can not follow much of what you are saying above as to logic... you seem to bring up the same tired arguments about Smith over and over. Smith is not an end all and be all, as this article seemed to imply previously by the previous ...In the beginning title which apparently still does not have a stake through its heart ... although that has been debated often and ash canned as to neutrality. This article is not about Smith... Ok? Please do not obstruct, making all around information as to this subject available (economics) and focus a narrow focus on Smith. skip sievert (talk) 19:26, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
I mean that "Economic systems" is a classification within econ,, as in the widely-used JEL codes, as at JEL classification codes#Economic systems JEL: P Subcategories rather than econ. being classification within. A brother is a member of a family but not conversely. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 22:03, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
That seems unduly confusing. There is a host of totally economic related material in the sidebar. The whole thing deals with economics in multiple directions. skip sievert (talk) 22:10, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, economic-related material within economic systems. By the above reasoning, anything "economic-related" is a target fot the Economic Systems sidebar. Within economics, economic systems is a category per (JEL classification codes#Economic systems JEL: P Subcategories. Within economic sytems, economics is not a subcategory. The presence of the sidebar violates WP:NPOV policy as per above. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 10:29, 8 August 2008 (UTC) --Thomasmeeks (talk)
Yeah wait a minute, "economics" isn't an economic system. That banner is misplaced, and I think it should be removed. -FrankTobia (talk) 01:58, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Yeah but it is in the economic systems section and that is the name of the banner. So it is in the right place. skip sievert (talk) 03:29, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

bottom infobars

Check out Physics. At the very bottom of the article are expanding info-bars with links to related material. I'm not sure the best way to use something like this, but I'm open to the possibility that if we made stuff like that then such an infobar on Economic systems could be a good substitute for the much-debated sidebar, plus we could create other such related things. On the other hand, I'm also open to the argument that an infobar on any particular aspect of economics might be giving it undue weight, while including one for every aspect would be too many bars. Just a thought. (Plus, I don't see yet how to duplicate what they've done.) CRETOG8(t/c) 23:54, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

As said above I removed the Business and Economics Portal in the lower see other section as that information was redundant now in the economic systems section sidebar above. That improves the other section ... so maybe that is a trade off. The only reason I like the economic systems side bar so much is the wealth of information on it. skip sievert (talk) 00:04, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Please re-read the message I posted above. Your response is not a response to what I wrote.
Skip, Notice at the bottom of this article, there's an Economics infobar which expands to show a good deal of information. Would it be satisfactory to you to include much of what's in the Economic Systems sidebar there? It seems like it might be a good place. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:14, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Lets leave it for now until more is found out about criteria/format for sure. It appears to be in the right spot now according to one editor that thought so in the discussion. I think though that the very bottom, business political content.. could be edited out... as that is not the direct thing for the article. If it goes way down to the bottom it would not be in context as to the actual info in the article. skip sievert (talk) 01:05, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
It might help if you went and did that finding out. CRETOG8(t/c) 03:44, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Business and economics portal

Anybody have a good feeling for where/how to link this? I think it does belong in the article, but I don't know if there's a standard way to do it. I've asked for advice on the Portal's talk page. (It should have its own link regardless of the inclusion or not of the Economic Systems sidebar, because someone who's not interested in the fine points of Syndicalist vs. Mercantalist systems should still be able to see that a Business & Economics Portal exists.) CRETOG8(t/c) 00:11, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

I usually see them in the see also section of the page. Wasn't that where it was on this article? --Patrick (talk) 00:16, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
The code is {{portal |Business and Economics}} --Patrick (talk) 00:21, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
That's where it was, yes. In Business, it's right up top, which kinda organizationally makes sense, but I think looks pretty bad. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:28, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Completely agree so I moved it. I actually went to look at the business page before I responded to see where they had it on their page but I couldn't find it. But I did find a guidline that dealt with this Wikipedia:Layout#See_also --Patrick (talk) 00:37, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Ah! Thanks for the guideline. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:49, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Debate on the use of this sidebar

I say it has good info. and should be at the top of the article under the first picture. It is all about Economics... the subject in question. It has valuable links to multiple economics related material... concepts and ideas .. that are otherwise not in the article. So.. it is a way to bump up the educational information... an easy way.. for the article. The links in this are invaluable.skip sievert (talk) 20:01, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

For anyone who's missed it, there's previous discussion in this section and this section. Repeating myself from above, this sidebar doesn't belong in this article because it is designed for articles which are "Part of a series on Economic Systems". This article is not part of that series. There may also be other reasons it does not belong, but this one reason should be enough. Cretog8 (talk) 20:54, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
The side bar is not designed to the exclusion of the subject of Economics in a particular article if when it is put in it makes more and better information as to economics known... which is the point here. Look at the information in it. The information is not designed for for articles which are "Part of a series on Economic Systems". It is broad as to economics information. Why put all this good information into one category... one which you think should not be used? The Economic ideologies alone is fantastic... it deprives the article to not use this info. It makes it more well rounded (my opinion).skip sievert (talk) 21:01, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
I've solicited other opinions at the sidebar talk page and the Economics project page. Cretog8 (talk) 21:11, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Another possibility... move Economics systems side bar to See also section at lower end of article. If.. Business and economics portal in the current edit is kept... this would kill two birds with one stone... as the Business and economics portal is already in the Economics system sidebar currently as part of the content. skip sievert (talk) 22:03, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it's a good idea, it's clutter at the bottom and any links which need to be in the article can be handled better as part of the article. Cretog8 (talk) 01:56, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Information well presented is not clutter. There is no way to put those kinds of links directly in the article because they are tangents of economics like different systems that will not be discussed in a basic economics article. The wealth of information would also include the Business and economics portal as it stands now .. which is pretty iffy material perhaps.skip sievert (talk) 21:11, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Isn't Economic systems section best place for it? It is customary to place such sidebars inside relevant sections. -- Vision Thing -- 20:28, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

If that's standard, then it could make sense for this article also. Hopefully it wouldn't screw up the layout. VT, can you point out examples where sidebars are used that way? I normally have seen one sidebar per article. CRETOG8(t/c) 21:31, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok good. I wonder though if the section Business and Economics Portal should be edited out of the sidebar though as it contains political information not related? skip sievert (talk) 23:15, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Drat, it does screw up the layout. As it is, there's no way to see that it's associated with the Economic Systems section. Skip, maybe you could also find examples in other articles where sidebars like this are used for specific sections? That might help. And unless the layout can be cleaned up a lot, I still don't like it. Plus I continue to figure that material from the sidebar can be included in the article, or if it can't be, then it's fine to leave it out since it's only a click away through Economic system anyway. As for the Business and Economics portal link, that's a different discussion. CRETOG8(t/c) 23:47, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Well it is where it should be I think placed in the proper section. Lots of pictures overlap sections in other articles... and this is probably not an aesthetic beauty contest... but information delivery. Also the information is such a wealth that it could never be worked into the article. I do think that the lower section that borders on business and politics should not be in the side bar though. I removed the Business and Economics Portal in the lower see other section as that information was redundant now in the economic systems section sidebar above. That improves the other section ... so maybe that is a trade off. skip sievert (talk) 23:53, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
Cretog8, it seems you are right. Articles that are placed higher in hierarchy usually don't contain sidebars of articles that are lower in hierarchy. -- Vision Thing -- 17:48, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for checking, VT. I'll pull the sidebar out. CRETOG8(t/c) 03:36, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
Usually don't.. and lower in hierarchy? That does not sound like policy, is it? skip sievert (talk) 03:51, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Economics in practice

This looks to be the only section now that still looks unfocused or meandering and maybe confused. This area probably needs a complete rewriting now... and it would seem the article in general will look pretty good then... with minor improvements yet to go.. more pictures... better language etc. skip sievert (talk) 22:00, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Moved part of this section into the criticisms section. This part..

Deirdre McCloskey, a longstanding critic of economics, claims that her criticisms have gone largely unheard over the years,[1] although her contention is controversial.[2]

In recent decades, the use of experimental methods in economics, including controlled experiments, has greatly expanded. This has removed one long-noted distinction of some natural sciences from economics and allowed more direct tests of what were previously taken as axioms.[3][4] Development of theories, data, and methods have transformed some assumptions into testable models. An example is the assumption of narrowly selfish preferences versus a model that tests for selfish, altruistic, and cooperative preferences.[5][6]

Other fields commonly described as sciences use methods similar to those above. Their widespread use in economics underlies an argument that economics is a "genuine science.".[7] Still, critics have challenged the net gains. For example, Friedrich Hayek in his 1974 Nobel Prize lecture attributed policy failures in economic advising to an uncritical and unscientific propensity to imitate procedures used in the physical sciences. He argued that even much-studied economic phenomena, such as labor-market unemployment, are inherently more complex than their counterparts in the physical sciences where such methods were earlier formed. Similarly, theory and data are often very imprecise and lend themselves only to the direction of a change needed, not its size.[8] In part because of criticism, economics has undergone a thorough cumulative formalization and elaboration of concepts and methods since the 1940s, some of which have been toward application of the hypothetico-deductive method to explain real-world phenomena.[9] An example of the latter is the extension of microeconomic analysis to seemingly non-economic areas, sometimes called economic imperialism.[7][10]

End part moved to criticisms section.. This critique info is now in the right place... and the Economics in practice section loses some of the unconnected baggage. This section Economics in practice still needs more reorganizing and editing for flow and content. Any ideas as to how to make that section better? skip sievert (talk) 15:34, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Also moved this part of Economics in practice content... to criticisms section.

Economic theory is open to criticisms that it relies on unrealistic, unverifiable, or highly simplified assumptions. An example is the assumption of profit maximization by business firms. Answers of businesspersons to questions about the factors affecting their decisions may show no such calculation. One methodological response invokes hypothesized implications, such as that a profit-maximizing firm would raise total price with an increase in the sales tax. If firms act as if they are trying to maximize profits, the assumption may be accepted, whatever businesspersons say they are doing. More generally, while unrealistic assumptions do not help an unsuccessful theory, many descriptive details might be irrelevant to the predictive success of the theory and omitted for that reason.[11][12] Still, unrealistic assumptions may challenge the epistemic status of economics as a science, even as concepts and models help explain economic phenomena.[13]

End part moved. skip sievert (talk) 15:52, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

At least some of that material belongs in the "practice" section because, while it's criticism, it's criticism from economists to other economists on how they do their stuff. CRETOG8(t/c) 16:46, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Maybe, but mostly it is directly related to and talks about criticisms. I do think the practice section needs a lot of work. It is unfocused. It needs information directly related to the subject. Added Schools of economics main article in sub heading to broaden info as link to main page to 'practice' section. skip sievert (talk) 16:54, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

General practices

Ok... Economics in practice has now morphed into General practices courtesy of Imperfectly informed... and looks better for it. It appears that two of these sections can be combined now.. # 5.2 Empirical testing and # 5.4 Econometrics. Maybe this section could be called Empirical testing and Econometrics skip sievert (talk) 03:06, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

General practices

Ok... Economics in practice has now morphed into General practices courtesy of Imperfectly informed... and looks better for it. It appears that two of these sections can be combined now.. # 5.2 Empirical testing and # 5.4 Econometrics. Maybe this section could be called Empirical testing and Econometrics skip sievert (talk) 03:06, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Excellent job Imperfectly informed. Now the article looks sterling... it really looks good. Right now there does not seem to be any weak sections... or confusing material. A few more pictures... and some thoughtful noodling in the sections... and we probably have one of the best short overviews in the world... on this subject. Good job also Cretog on your persistent suggestions. Criticisms ... section heading is good... and making the ethics a heading ... in conjunction with Main article: Philosophy of economics is really a very good move, and as is placed under Criticisms... it is a perfect intro into ethics. What are further suggestions now to hone things down further? More visual.... more pictures... if fitting I think would be nice. skip sievert (talk) 16:14, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for the praise. :) Just a little reorganization. Sorry I haven't been too talkative; just not in the mood to use talk pages a lot lately. I agree that it's looking decent, but it still has a ways to go. No rush. II | (t - c) 20:41, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Informal economy (new section)

Simply put, it is economic activity that is neither taxed nor monitored by a government; and is not included in that government's Gross National Product (GNP); as opposed to a formal economy.

Although the informal economy is often associated with developing countries, all economic systems contain an informal economy in some proportion. The term "informal sector" was used in many earlier studies, and has been mostly replaced in more recent studies which use the newer term.

The English idioms under the table and "off the books" typically refer to this type of economy. The term black market refers to a specific subset of the informal economy.

Informal economic activity is a dynamic process which includes many aspects of economic and social theory including exchange, regulation, and enforcement. By its nature, it is necessarily difficult to observe, study, define, and measure. No single source readily or authoritatively defines informal economy as a unit of study.

End....... This is a new section and probably important to round things out more. It is placed on the bottom of selective fields which owes it origin to a certain Imperfectly Informed... and this connector is where it probably deserves to be, (bottom section), as it is furtive and iffy in and of itself due to its very own nature. Does any one have a strong opinion of where to go now as to any significant content?? or ... as said previously is it time to work on tweaking what is here with more defined info. and pictures? I would like to stress again that as is ... the idea here is to create a classic reference point for the concept of economics...which is transcendentally intelligent in context to the subject and in that sense...there is room for improvement in the article. skip sievert (talk) 03:05, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually, informal economy belongs more in the economy article than here. It's not an approach to economic study, but more like an economic sector. Economies can be divided into formal/informal similar to the way that economies can be divided into public/private or primary/secondary/tertiary. If we're going to mention informal economy in this article (which I'm not sure is necessary), it seems that we should put a section on economies and mention it in the context of these other subdivisions.II | (t - c) 08:33, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes.. and will move it to the other article where it would seem to expand that information and fit more with that context (Economy). Maybe the wiki link to that article (Informal economy) could fit into the context of this article (Economics) though somewhere appropriately. skip sievert (talk) 15:14, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Added some content to criticisms section


In Steady State Economics 1977, Herman Daly points out the logical inconsistencies between the emphasis placed on economic growth and the energy and environmental realities confronting us.[14] Like Frederick Soddy, Daly argued that our preoccupation with monetary flows at the expense of thermodynamics principles misleads us into believing that technological advance is limitless, and that perpetual economic growth is not only physically possible, but morally and ethically desirable as well. In Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt, (George Allen & Unwin 1926), Frederick Soddy turned his attention to the role of energy in economic systems. He criticized the focus on monetary flows in economics, arguing that “real” wealth was derived from the use of energy to transform materials into physical goods and services. Soddy’s economic writings were largely ignored in his time, but would later be applied to the development of biophysical economics and ecological economics in the late 20th century.[15]

End skip sievert (talk) 23:29, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Principles of Wikinomics

Hello all. As I said above, I'd like to try a restructure and invite everyone to join in filling out with real material, and make this a good article. I have some principles for editing, which I intend to follow, and I wonder if you would all like to agree to them? The good thing about principles for editing is knowing how we will get to a good article. I think that in 8000 words (not including footnotes) we can do economics in a comprehensive enough way to engage people and act as the best "roadmap" on the web for people who come to the subject for the first time, and find quickly where they want to go. So the principles.

  • Delete nothing, only relocate.
This page has so much good material that it is all valuable, and this has been the best thing about the page's development. But if we look to subsections, we find that this main page is often more detailed than the subpages!
  • Clear mapping.
Structure, structure, structure. We need to have a logical structure. My proposal, which I will paste below, is simply based on what good economics texts go by, plus the extra things that Wikipedia is good at. I think we can get everything down into a clear set of contents. We don't want readers spending more time going through contents than the page itself!
  • Good presentation.
This is a simple matter. But by good presentation I think we need proper, cohesive paragraphs, pictures under each section. I go for pictures alternative sides, but that's just me.
  • The best sources.
I think that we have a lot from the Palgrave Dictionary, but not from academic articles, the seminal texts and perhaps a few good textbooks. Where there is a primary source available on the web (esp. Wikisource for historical documents) I think it's best practice to cite that first.

Please add your own! Or put down some suggestions. Is anyone good at templates? I think a timeline would be nice for the history section, and it'd be good to have a new dropdown for economic subjects. Wikidea 21:53, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Be bold. skip sievert (talk) 23:16, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Totally agree with Skip. -FrankTobia (talk) 01:56, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


Here is what I propose to do. I think that if we simplify it'll show what we need to focus on. The list of subjects I think all can be coherently grouped, without almost anything lost.

1. Microeconomics

a. Markets : Prices and efficiency (Homo economicus, supply and demand, elasticity, production possibility, competition, welfare economics ; marginal theory of value, law of diminishing returns, division of labour; govt. controls and taxes on prices: queues)
b. Market failure: information asymmetry, failure of competition, public goods, environmental economics)
c. Labour: (division of labour?) wages, minimum wage, unions, discrimination
d. Firms: mergers, oligopoly, monopoly , monopolistic competition (advertising?) Cambridge capital controversy
e. Public sector (and public finance and choice? Efficient taxes.)

2. Macroeconomics

a. Growth
b. Depression (Circular flow of income ; aggregate supply and demand , general equilibrium? What about financial regulation generally to stop speculation? Financial economics)
c. Unemployment (what causes it?)
d. Inflation and monetary policy
e. Fiscal policy and regulation

3. International economics

a. Comparative advantage (Smith, Ricardo)
b. International trade (EU, WTO, NAFTA, ASEAN, free trade)
c. Poverty and development
d. International finance

4. History of economic thought

a. Classical political economy
b. Marxism and neo-classicism
c. Keynsianism and liberals
d. Economics in global times

5. Economics in practice

a. Economists (What can you do with economics? Business, Civil service, NGOs, Teaching, Study something else! Law, politics, management…)
b. Relations to other fields (politics, philosophy, history, law)
c. Economists’ tools (Mathematics, Statistics, Game theory)
d. A dismal science? (Science and jokes)
This should remain a criticisms of economics in d. in Economics in practice section area... Using Dismal science? as an article section lead is not a good way to say criticisms of economics... there are many other short views in that section, besides that one ... not related to that phrase. -. Which is not all that funny or meant to be funny at the time. Criticisms are a pretty serious business. skip sievert (talk) 23:27, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

This is rough, but I think that it's very clear and more immediately accessible to keep the section and subsection structure simple. Wikidea 21:57, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

So, now that structure is in place. You can see by reading through, nothing is removed yet. Tomorrow, I'm going to begin writing in 1b to 3d. At the moment, you can see what is there, from various parts of the pre-existing page. For microeconomics (and the introduction) I mean to leave it for now, and come back later. I think that should all be copied (where it is not already there) to the main page, and then we can make it both slimmer and more detailed. Wikidea 23:11, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I really like the written intro to the article currently as is. It is well stated I think... and gets across some very important information in a very matter of fact way... so I hope the written beginning intro stays the same.

This part....

Current economic models developed out of the broader field of political economy in the late 19th century, owing to a desire to use an empirical approach more akin to the physical sciences.[16] A definition that captures much of modern economics is that of Lionel Robbins in a 1932 essay: "the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses."[17] Scarcity means that available resources are insufficient to satisfy all wants and needs. Absent scarcity and alternative uses of available resources, there is no economic problem. The subject thus defined involves the study of choices as they are affected by incentives and resources.

I think is very well done as to thought and language. skip sievert (talk) 23:18, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Yep, I think Lionel's definition is good too. I need to go to bed now though. Remember to anyone who thinks "argh" what happened, there has been nothing deleted except headings, and everything is there, just a reordered. The emptyish sections can be filled out. Btw, why "micro, macro, international" as the three main ones? Because I think it's simply a matter of building one's way up. Micro leaves out the big issues, and tries to isolate individual relations, macro takes that up, and then international is both micro and macro, but also more important today than ever. Wikidea 00:21, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
A few quick suggestions, although more may come.
  1. There does need to be a place for "criticisms", although whether those come in the flow of a section or in their own section is still a tough call. I have argued before that there are two qualitatively different kinds of criticisms, those internal to the field: "We're all trying to do X, but you're doing X wrong", versus those from outside the field: "You need to think about Y more instead of X.".
  2. There should be a place outside of "History" for a bit on different economic systems.
  3. I don't think game theory belongs with math & statistics. I'd put it in with microeconomics.
As for the lead, I think the way to go is redo the lead after the rest of the article is relatively settled. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:28, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for those. I agree on all that. I don't plan myself to do anything with the criticisms section now, because I'd like to concentrate on 1b to 3d first, and that'll be a job. For economic systems, that section I put under international economics, and the development part. I did also think something on it should go in the part on economics and other subjects (i.e. we need a bit about politics there). For game theory, yes, I think that's crucial to microeconomics, and the discussion on markets. It's just there under economists' tools now; I'd eventually get rid of sub-sub-sections, but when I've done more on 1b to 3d, and when the main pages are more developed. Wikidea 01:06, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
With regard to the lead, I don't care for the bullets. Morphh (talk) 18:04, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm with you on that, Morphh. CRETOG8(t/c) 18:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Business and economics portal, side bar in the see also section of the lower article

Should this be here or in the article at all? It is in the See also section. The other external links, and information at the bottom, covers economic related connectors. The god awful picture of the stock exchange picture, blurry picture is here again when it is opened, and also some ... what could be viewed as political propaganda... or business propaganda in a so called editorial section of the content of the Business and economics portal. This seems to be about business and politics... no? It appears that this side bar could be removed from the article. skip sievert (talk) 02:27, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it belongs. CRETOG8(t/c) 02:40, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
How is that, given the reasons above? skip sievert (talk) 03:20, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Because this article is on economics. A portal serves a different purpose than those other links. You have arguments with the content of the portal page itself, which is a different matter. CRETOG8(t/c) 03:39, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but the little side bar is on business and politics also. The information now on the bottom of the page is more focused as to the subject of... economics... and is not ranging around those other two subjects... business and politics. skip sievert (talk) 03:47, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
It belongs. These portals are good navigation tools. II | (t - c) 03:59, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
There are no shortage of good navigation tools... what about the arguments about it being political and business, and not really appropriate for that reason? skip sievert (talk) 04:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Portals are a navigation tool that shouldn't be ignored, although they are neglected. II | (t - c) 04:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
But what about the points being made, as far as the disconnected information in it? skip sievert (talk) 04:20, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

If you want to change the portal's content skip, then suggest another article to be used. Articles are changing on the 1st, so go ahead. --Patrick (talk) 04:26, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

The economic systems side bar (placed above here for reference), is the one that I think could be used down there, where the Business and economics portal is now. It contains a wealth of information on related things... is only political in the sense of naming lots of different types of governments that are sometimes associated with economic systems... and just has so many economic related links. Could that be down here where the present portal is instead of the current little portal? Why not use that incredible amount of succinct information where it can be used as a wonderful reference guide... in the bottom reference area? I went to the page suggested Patrick, and made a comment. skip sievert (talk) 21:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
The economics system sidebar has the portal info on it as well. I would put the economics sidebar under the main picture. You could add the portal link to the see also section, or leave it off since the sidebar contains the link. Another option would be to create our own sidebar that is more specific to economics as a science and field. Better yet, we could modify this sidebar to include an "Economics" area that contains topics like macro, micro, etc. Morphh (talk) 21:17, 28 August 2008 (UTC) Morphh (talk) 21:13, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok... if I read you right, you are saying the economics systems side bar would be good at the top of the page under the main picture? I agree that would be a great spot... because of the incredibly good information linkage in it. I agree modifying it a little is a good idea... but in the meantime, because it expands, so well the whole context of information it probably works as is very well also, and is a ready made connector of good information. We could do a mock up of a new one on the talk page any time skip sievert (talk) 21:18, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, It would be nice to build on the sidebar to include some of our main topic points (i.e. Agricultural economics · Economic development · Economic growth · Economic history · Economic systems · Economist · Environmental economics · Financial economics · Industrial organization · International economics · Law and economics · Econometrics · Microeconomics · Macroeconomics · Economic policy · Political economy · Public economics · Resource economics · Economic schools of thought · Technological change). We could create a section for "Economics" and place our most important articles there. Morphh (talk) 21:24, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Morph, I'm not sure if you're aware that the Economic systems sidebar has been much-debated already. If you want to re-open the debate, that's your prerogative, I just wanted to point it out to you. You can find much of the debate in several threads on this page. I have no objection in principle to the creation of an economics sidebar--it could be awesome, but figuring out how to keep it under control might be hard. CRETOG8(t/c) 21:27, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
The one as is will do for starters... It is all economics related and expands the info in a good way. Constructing a new and improved model would be perfect for the article. Ok. In the mean time I will put the sidebar on the article. I think it may be a good idea to edit out the business/economics portal part... but will leave it for now... and just take that off the bottom ... see also section... because as you mention that info. is in the economics systems side bar... and we can decide what to do with that aspect of the information later... unless you want to start changing it now.skip sievert (talk) 21:32, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
The current consensus is to not have the sidebar and to have the portal link. Give it a little time for the consensus to change, if it's going to. CRETOG8(t/c) 22:03, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I like the sidebar. I'm ambivalent on the Portal since it is in the sidebar, but I don't think it hurts to have it in the see also section. II | (t - c) 22:19, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
OK, I guess I'll repeat myself. The Economic systems sidebar doesn't belong because this article is not "Part of a series on economic systems". I think that should be enough. If that's not enough, then I'll argue that putting "Economic systems" right up top is pretty extreme in undue weight, and having somebody see (for instance) Georgist ideology before they see supply & demand is pretty bizarre. CRETOG8(t/c) 22:35, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. The sidebar belongs in the economy article. Still, we've got the empty space and it would be nice to have a sidebar. II | (t - c) 22:45, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
The side bar is great the way it is and can be further improved and more directly related in time. The article is all about economic systems... right? Why not put this current side bar in the bottom see other section then... where it is not the first thing looked at, if that is an issue, and work on improving a future side bar for the top?. It is being used now... it is good information... it does directly relate to the subject in multiple ways. skip sievert (talk) 23:12, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Phrasing as to well known as opposed to famous of invisible hand

I do not think this phrase famous... is a good way to describe Smith's hand analogy, visible or other wise... the average person does not know Adam Smith from John Smith. This almost seems to be borderline leading the reader in to judgment. Here are the diffs well known covers some ground, but does not imply that this guys invisible hand is any thing other than something that is relatively well known. Famous this guys invisible hand is not ... except among a small band of economics geeks and maybe some other reluctant student of economics 101, where it could be argued the phrase is well known. skip sievert (talk) 03:37, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Google news search. These are articles which refer to the invisible hand analogy, many in non-specialist papers and on a variety of topics. Keep in mind these are recent news articles, not just web pages. CRETOG8(t/c) 03:47, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I think it's famous. II | (t - c) 03:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Using google as a reference to citing much of any thing is pretty much a lost cause... for a lot of things. Any kind of nonsense or quote can be drummed up in the fractured hall of mirrors of the internet ... as almost everything can somehow be backed up if the desire is strong enough. The point is word choice, and neutral editing, for the article. Not what google says. Google is not the arbiter of whether Smiths invisible hand is famous or not because it has X number of hits... is it? It may be well known... but famous? I don't think so. Even using the google search this comes up short ... Results 1 - 10 of about 45 for invisible-hand smith. 45 hits sounds famous..?. I don't think so, so it fails that criteria also.skip sievert (talk) 04:00, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
It's an editorial choice of words. I think famous is appropriate for something so well-known. II | (t - c) 04:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
It sounds to me like an editorial that is given, that is meant to lead the reader and convince them with blatantly appraising it as famous, when the average person has not only never heard of it... does not care about it, in regard to fame... and if they were told it was famous.. would probably laugh. It is not neutral, and is misleading. Even the cited google hits.. says something a lot less than famous. skip sievert (talk) 04:14, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Creating a new side bar

While this one is good and presents great information not included in the article previously, and can be used for the article now... should we keep it as is... get rid of the business/economic portal in it.?.. Could we add featured economics wiki links in it... or should it present more very interesting ... but... not in the article information mostly? I think it is fine as is... since it contains such a wealth of directly connected material... but Morph's idea of expanding, to a list of directly related to economics articles, besides what is mostly there already ... also seems like a good idea. So... any one care to start editing this side bar as a mock up? skip sievert (talk) 21:51, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I have copied the Sociology sidebar to Template:Economics_sidebar as a place to start working. I'll post a message about this on the WikiProject page as well. I consider this experimental, since I'm not sure such a sidebar is a great approach, but it's probably worth the experiment. I strongly suggest that we try to achieve consensus on the sidebar itself before we start using it in articles, because I foresee a replication of many of the debates which have occurred in articles recurring in regards to the sidebar.
My first suggestion is to take off the Business and economics Portal section, as that information should not over lap with purely economics related systems and methods. This is the link that says portal now left and top. skip sievert (talk) 23:19, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

As a note, remember this sidebar updates dynamically as the template gets changed, so whatever you see here is probably the current edit. CRETOG8(t/c) 23:41, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

OK, it's now all economics instead of Sociology. I'm sure it needs plenty of improvement still. I used the JEL classification codes as a rough guideline. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:02, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I tweaked on it a bit. If we want to include a some of the other areas, we could also do a show feature to expand an area. We could easily include all the entires on the other template in just a few hidden sections. Morphh (talk) 0:59, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
That show/hide bit is pretty cool. I'm not sure I like that use of it, again because of wp:undue--it makes it look as though economic ideologies is a partularly important part of economics. How do you think the sidebar would look if we had an expansion for every, or almost every, category? CRETOG8(t/c) 01:28, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
True, it's just an example. I've also seen it used in a larger category, where the main articles are visable below, but there is a show/hide to expand additional articles in the category that don't merit the weight for prime real estate. Morphh (talk) 1:33, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Looks fantastic. More information is better as to economic ideologies... this is what wars are fought over, and political speeches are all about... it is very important... and should be a category. Right now the bar is small and could be made bigger with more categories... not less... How about taking off the Business and economics Portal section and lets leave that information off the article all together... other wise this gets muddled into business/political links also... and that is confusing if the focus is on economics. Does it have a link to the economics systems side bar info in it now? If not that would be a great addition. skip sievert (talk) 02:35, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Morph, could you remove the emphasis, the & between Categories & Lists, and make it just regular and not emboldened or bold (&)? Also would it be better to say History of economic thought at the beginning part...? instead of history of thought..? skip sievert (talk) 16:02, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Done Morphh (talk) 16:10, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
As long as it has the Business and Economics Portal on it I am not in favor of it being in the article because then the economics information is confused with political and business opinions... articles and information. That defeats the original purpose and devolves it into opinions and rhetoric about politics and business. skip sievert (talk) 02:00, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Map of countries by 2007 GDP (nominal) per capita (IMF, April 2008).
The top curve chart looks wrong on the side bar. Supply and Demand has been a useful myth for economics... for some time.. but no longer reflects mostly manipulated micro aspects now, restricted Supply never allows Demand a free avenue of expression. Actually, there is no ceiling to Supply except ability to produce, and no limit to Demand except ability to consume. Economic laws are not physical laws, neither measurable nor verifiable, (my opinion). In other words the curve chart now on top, is open to contention as far as ideology and veracity, and is not simply some stated economic information but is mainly opinion and not fact.

The picture graph on the top says this about itself in its talk page... this graph has curves which seem logically flawed. the demand should never intersect the price curve, for example. Any number of more interesting and uncontested things could be put on the top of the bar... like world G.D.P. for instance... that does not have an odd or contentious confusing chart associated with it and just presents information that is collated and not ... theory. Besides any one looking at the present image... which as said may not be accurate in and of itself... may think.. I wonder why they put what looks like a map of Minnesota on the Economics sidebar.

I am suggesting then the world G.D.P. picture... which gets right at the heart.. of economics.. money. skip sievert (talk) 16:30, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

I wasn't thinking that detailed when I put the S&D image. It is the image used for the WikiProject and I just thought it conveyed the basic charts and curves that usually are involved with economics measurement. I don't expect normal readers would look at it as a base for supply and demand, but just a technical picture to spice up the sidebar. But I have no objections to the GDP pic, it looks good too - the height to width ratio on the GDP image may be a better fit for a sidebar. Morphh (talk) 17:07, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I like the information in it... the G.D.P. chart.. and also the fact that it is basic info to the subject and not contentious... not to mention the nice color scheme. skip sievert (talk) 17:10, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I think it looks great. :-) Morphh (talk) 17:27, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Of course supply & demand isn't at all contentious within anything close to mainstream economics (even when there are arguments about the nature of equilibrium). Something like that supply& demand graph is commonly used for an "icon" for economics because it's one of the most solid bits of economics as well as one of the most basic ideas that's taught, and makes a pretty picture. The GDP picture is also pretty. I don't plan to fight this one if I'm alone on it, just put in my input. The GDP seems a bit weird because at that scale and without the alt text one has no idea of whether it's GDP or population growth or carbon emissions or what. So that seems off to me. CRETOG8(t/c) 17:53, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Here is a link to the template with the S&D image for those that want to compare and comment. Morphh (talk) 19:43, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Regarding that comment on the graph, it doesn't make any sense to me. I left a note to that effect on the picture's talk page. CRETOG8(t/c) 17:57, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Misc. economics related material ... could also be a section on the bottom to dump related but not integral to plain economics information, such as the Business and Economics Portal which is glaring/contradictory, to just plain economics related things,... since it deals in business and politics opinions. A Misc. economics related material section could have the business and economics portal ... and what ever else does not exactly fit into the economics side bar, but may seem important to some... in a category/dept.. that would be not seen but would be gotten to by clicking show... then the information is there... but not smushed with economics information skip sievert (talk) 17:37, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

other subjects article links

For the "Economics and other subjects" section (which I expect is still in a lot of flux), the links to other "main articles" are to Law and Economics, Philosophy of economics, and recently Natural resource economics. Now what's there as a "main article" should also reflect what's in the text, but as I said, flux. Anyway, I think Philosophy of economics doesn't belong, because that's not really about other subjects, it's inward-looking to economics itself. Law and economics seems a good choice (and relates most to the existent text). Instead of Natural resource economics, I would suggest Environmental economics. In terms of formal categories it's tricky. In fact, for reasons of historical focus, it seems that environmental economics is often treated as a sub-category of natural resource economics. But practically speaking, it seems like environmental economics would be a more meaningful link. CRETOG8(t/c) 21:44, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

I disagree on the points your making. Philosophy and Ethics related material should be focused on here. Adam Smith... the so called father of modern economics was a moral philosopher as much as an economist. Also... Natural resource economics and Environmental economics can both be in this category with main article links. The article previously was not connected much to Energy economics and that area can be covered a little there (Economics and other subjects) as well as philosophy of economics and other related subjects. If any thing that area could use some more expanding in that section with other connected to economics concepts. Energy and physics is basic to economics and economic thinking and has been a focus of economics since the discovery of Thermodynamics. For interested parties in that subject this can be looked at for more information and here -- So why limit the information? It is best if the big picture is looked at.. and that includes an overall concept and picture of the subject... economics. skip sievert (talk) 23:11, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

Thermoeconomics again

Thermoeconomics has come up again in the "...and other subjects" section. I have two objections, based on my understanding, but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. First, it is linked in the prose to energy economics. I understand energy economics to be a quite mainstream branch of natural resource economics having to do with energy use and production, and not having anything to do with thermoeconomics. Second, I take thermoeconomics itself to be pretty fringe, although I guess it does relate to some ecological economics. I'm willing to be convinced that it's not fringe, but would need some evidence--preferably new evidence rather than the links which have already been shared so vigorously. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:31, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Its not fringe but an integral part of economics. The links on the material whether new or old in the article presently are mainstream and good. Energy in business and business calculation is fundamental... and more and more important all the time in regard to making an economic system work... All economic systems run on energy and energy is fundamental to most all economic choice. The cost of energy is a very basic business matter of whether to do something or not.
Here is the added section... go to the article to check the citations.

Start Energy economics relating to thermoeconomics, is a broad scientific subject area which includes topics related to supply and use of energy in societies. Thermoeconomists argue that economic systems always involve matter, energy, entropy, and information.[18] Moreover, the aim of many economic activities is to achieve a certain structure. In this manner, thermoeconomics attempts to apply the theories in non-equilibrium thermodynamics, in which structure formations called dissipative structures form, and information theory, in which information entropy is a central construct, to the modeling of economic activities in which the natural flows of energy and materials function to create scarce resources. In thermodynamic terminology, human economic activity may be described as a dissipative system, which flourishes by transforming and exchanging resources, goods, and services.[19] These processes involve complex networks of flows of energy and materials. End

It is possible that this could be paired down a bit by dropping some of the information... but all the information is directly related... and the article suffered a lack of energy related economics information... which is very important to this subject, previously. skip sievert (talk) 00:40, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I changed the information to I think simplify it a bit and stress ecological economics more. Here is the new version:

Start Energy economics relating to thermoeconomics, is a broad scientific subject area which includes topics related to supply and use of energy in societies. Thermoeconomists argue that economic systems always involve matter, energy, entropy, and information.[18]Thermoeconomics is based on the proposition that the role of energy in biological evolution should be defined and understood through the second law of thermodynamics but in terms of such economic criteria as productivity, efficiency, and especially the costs and benefits of the various mechanisms for capturing and utilizing available energy to build biomass and do work.[20][21] As a result, thermoeconomics are often discussed in the field of ecological economics, which itself is related to the fields of sustainability and sustainable development. End, skip sievert (talk) 01:15, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

A Google scholar search of the journal Energy Economics returns no results for thermoeconomics. Regardless of whether it belongs in the article or the section, it does not belong in that connection to energy economics. CRETOG8(t/c) 01:27, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Energy economics is based on thermodynamics, among other things. Energy economics is a broad scientific subject area which includes topics related to supply and use of energy in societies. Google is not an end all and should not be used to decide much of any thing. The journal mentioned may or may not be good or bad. You have been stalking my edits recently and it is annoying. All the information I am putting up is cited. You have said repeatedly in other threads that you do not understand energy economics ideas. Thermoeconomics is not something I made up... and it is widely known and connected to energy economics. Following me around on articles I am trying to improve and removing good information without discussing it.. Energy economics.. as done recently gets old fast. skip sievert (talk) 01:47, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I have been following the links you put in economics articles and suggest in discussions. I disagree with many of the edits you make, as is clear. Please don't call that stalking. Energy is related to thermodynamics obviously, but energy economics is a field of study in economics and you haven't presented any evidence that the field of energy economics gives any thought to thermoeconomics. CRETOG8(t/c) 01:57, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
It would help if what you say was clearer. For instance, there is now material on Thermoeconomics in the "other subjects" section and material on biophysical economics (which redirects to thermoeconomics) and bioeconomics in the "criticism" section. All of these topics are blurring together. Also, it's really not clear whether thermoeconomics is (a) applying economic principles combined with physical energy principles to study biological evolution, or (b) applying physical principles of thermodynomics to study economic action. It's not clear whether thermoeconomics is a method or an ideology, and whether thermoeconomists think markets stupidly waste energy or are evolved to be extremely efficient energy users. I suggest:
  1. separating it from energy economics, because it's something different
  2. combining the material in the "other subjects" and "criticism"
  3. making it clearer
That will make it easier for the rest of us to evaluate it and decide whether it belongs. CRETOG8(t/c) 01:57, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
I suggest you look into the topics discussed... read the material... look at the citations and links and related concepts. All these subjects are related through economics and energy and natural resources and science. All integral to economic understanding. This is not for the criticisms section. This is mainstream or heterodox economic thought...that is commonly discussed and extensively written about. The questions you are asking are too complicated to get into here. Look at the articles in question and they explain mostly the concepts. None of these article were started by myself. Mostly if I am working on them... I am trying to understand and expand them appropriately also if needed. Thermoeconomics is not an ideology... and I have never heard the phrase stupidly waste energy connected. It is science based thermodynamic based energy accounting for business and industry mostly.

1. It is not separated from energy economics... it is integral to it. 2. It is not a part of criticism... it is a living and breathing discipline and understanding based on science and economics. 3. It appears that taking some time to understand this topic more may be in order... that way some of the basic aspects will be understood. There is a wealth of material as to this aspect that goes all the way back to the physiocrats ... if one want to go back that far... and to the present. I suggest you start at the physiocrats and work up.

Something to think about in connection to the present discussion. The Physiocrats

In the 1750s there developed in France a school of economic thought which had as its first principle that natural resources, and fertile agricultural land in particular, were the source of material wealth. Physiocracy, meaning literally ’rule of nature,’ is generally acknowledged as the first organized scientific school of economic thought. Led by François Quesnay and his disciples, the Physiocrats maintained that the economic process could be understood by focusing on a single physical factor: the productivity of agriculture.

The Physiocrats argued that the economic process was subject to certain objective laws which operated independent of human free will. They called such forces ’Natural Law,’ which had two components, physical and moral laws. Quesnay defined physical law as "the regular course of all physical events in the natural order which is self-evidently the most advantageous to the human race." Moral law was "the rule of human action in the moral order conforming to the physical law which is self-evidently the most advantageous to the human race."

Physical laws determined important economic parameters such as rainfall and soil fertility, and embodied the Newton view of the physical world which dominated scientific thought at that time. The Physiocrats argued that Natural Law operated independent of human free will, and that if humans accurately deduced the ’proper’ economic behavior implied by Natural Law, social welfare would be maximized. -- Then enter Smith... and then enter the discovery of the laws of Thermodynamics shortly after. skip sievert (talk) 02:14, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Is biophysical economics the same thing as thermoeconomics? I'd like to change the redirect link if so. CRETOG8(t/c) 02:29, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
They are different and address different issues in different ways as to focus... but both are connected to economics.. energy , ecology, environment, sustainability and resources. Here is another outside information source that is interesting in general to this subject , or at least I think it is interesting.

I wish you would stop reverting information on other pages that is related to these ideas which you do not seem to understand presently.

Georgescu-Roegen introduced into economics, inter alia, the concept of entropy from thermodynamics (as distinguished from the mechanistic foundation of neoclassical economics drawn from Newtonian physics) and did foundational work which later developed into evolutionary economics. His work contributed significantly to bioeconomics and to ecological economics.[22][23][24][25][26] see Georgescu-Roegen for more information. skip sievert (talk) 02:32, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

It might be useful to split this into two discussions, and concentrate on the relationship to Energy economics over in that article's talk, and other aspects of this here. CRETOG8(t/c) 03:20, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't think so. It might be useful... as I have asked you nicely, to stop stalking my edits.. which you are doing now on multiple articles... and start looking at the information I have provided you for more information as to this subject. skip sievert (talk) 04:51, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Assume good faith, Skip. -FrankTobia (talk) 23:28, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
O.K. skip sievert (talk) 01:36, 6 September 2008 (UTC)


Is this a locked article? I can't seem to access the edit function, there were a few spelling mistakes I wanted to correct... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:30, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Lead image-with-text

Face-to-face trading interactions on the trading floor of a stock exchange. Financial decisions are only one of many economic choices people may make.

An earlier Lead image-with-text is at the right. Its advantages (adapted from Talk:Economics#New image depicting the field of economics above) include these:

1. It is consistent with WP:LEAD#Provide an accessible overview guidelines in illustrating behavior, choice, & relations per the 2nd & 4th paragraphs of the Lead. The text with the image suggests that the subject deals with the broad subject of human behavior and choice, contrary to a stereotype of the subject. Far from reinforcing the stereotype (on which, see Homo economicus#Criticisms), the text corrects the stereotype.

2. An earlier discussion above, concealed under the misleading heading of Talk:Economics#Economics side bar, includes this statement in the 1st paragraph:

Also that awful picture of the stock market floor should be permanently ash canned. It is blurred. It is hard to look at.

Quite he contrary. Those parts that are blurred suggest action (from normal motion blur of people moving). Such action is accompanies behavior, which reinforces the image text and Lead per (1) above.

Economics can be seen in action at this bazaar in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Economics can be seen in action at this bazaar in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Economics can be seen in action at this bazaar in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Economics can be seen in action at this bazaar in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Economics can be seen in action at this bazaar in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

3. By contrast, the recently-added bazaar image (right) is merely less distinct, with all the disadvantages of blurring and none of its advantages. People there are barely visible. Much less do they suggest action, face-to-face interactions, behavior, etc.

4. For these reasons, the top image-with-text is arguably a better fit with the lead text. Of course someone could make a case for a still-more-compelling image-with-text. In that case, this page (or section) is a good place to try it out. But any alternative should make the case that it would offset the above advantages of the top image without introducing still-worse disadvantages. Comments welcome. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 20:52, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

One of the reasons the article looked awful before and uninviting is the picture of the Stock market floor. It is blurred and leaves frenetic impression which could be called ugly (my opinion) The bazaar picture is attractive. Another editor sought it out and put it here as a result of discussion and it was agreed as the lead picture at that time. There are already pictures of two other stock markets down the way in the article. The article should not present a U.S. economic centric appearance either as this does. People all over the world will turn their nose up to it immediately, possibly for that reason.

This was the last major discussion of the new picture and old picture.


I like the one you found... the Russian market. Could you shrink it down and put it in? We could move the other market one down then, into the money section of the article much lower, where it was. Glad you agree on the sidebar.. that seems like way to good of information to not Skipsievert) 00:55, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Ok I added in the Russian market image. I moved up the sidebar and moved the stock exchange image down. There no reason to have two photos of markets in this article so I removed Image:Market-Chichicastenango.jpgPatrickFlaherty 01:05, 10 August 2008 (UTC) end comment


Also on the top of this page people were lobbying to get rid of the stock exchange picture for some time.


The current image for the article is of the trading floor of a stock exchange. The text below the picture says "Financial decisions are only one among many economic choices people may make." Would it be more relevant to change that picture to something that depicts the more broad field of economics, not just "one among many economic choices"? I remember seeing a production possibility frontier there earlier, and I would suggest that as a possible alternative.Crarmstrong 02:56, 16 July 2008

I agree (though I don't have a suggestion for a replacement). Wikiant 16 July 2008


So... There is a long history of this picture not being liked and a long history of wanting to get rid of it. If you are interested in seeing the fine details of the current picture of the bazaar click directly on the picture... it opens larger very nicely... and no... it is not blurry.. blurry is the one of the stock market floor skip sievert (talk) 21:54, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I do find the earlier picture of the stock market floor aesthetically better. The lower pictures of stock exchanges don't serve much purpose to my mind because they're really just pictures of buildings. The blurriness of the stock exchange photo is an aesthetic choice, as suggested above, conveying frenetic activity. I can see how some wouldn't like it, although it works for me.
Anyway, I think that's the best of what I've seen tried on the page so far. I'm sure there exists something out there which is better. We could debate what kind of image would be best, as a way of limiting the search. Things that would be traditional would include:
  1. A portrait, but I don't expect we'll get anywhere with selecting the portrait.
  2. Economic activity--any such choice will inherently be limited to "one among many" kinds of activity. But it could also be a pretty intro.
  3. Some graphical representation of an economic concept, as a production possibility frontier or supply & demand curves. This is general, but might be putting the cart before the horse in illustrating a model before we've introduced concepts.
  4. Other--A textbook would often have some mixture of the above, which could be pretty on a textbook cover, but it might not be encyclopedic. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:49, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Personally I prefer the image of the stock market. It is a closer view of the floor, aimed directly at the traders. In contrast, the second image is of the bazaar as a whole, which emphasizes the pillars and tables over the people. While users could zoom in, the immediate effect of the second image is not nearly as strong as the first. Additionally, the time-lapsed nature of the stock market image shouldn't be construed as "blurriness" in this discussion: clearly it is added for artistic effect and enhances the image. -FrankTobia (talk) 02:17, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
That is two people against about a handful then. I am going to revert the picture again. This picture looks awful. It should not even be presented on wikipedia. It starts the article off with a thud. I would note that it is against the consensus developed over the last couple of months to use this picture. Starting off the article with a even a good picture of wall street as the essence of economics is a bad idea... as mentioned previously by other editors. skip sievert (talk) 04:14, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
It's pretty clear that there's no consensus. CRETOG8(t/c) 18:05, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

5T. In the first Edit above I regrettably left out the 2nd sentence of the top image. I have restored it with the present Edit. Points (1) & (4) at the top make even more sense with that sentence, so as to fit of the image-with-text with the rest of the Lead.

6T. The second Edit above ("SE," by Skip Sievert ) quotes from the (uncited) Talk:Economics#Economics side bar but omits mentioning what else the other Editor stated:

I have to disagree with you on the stock exchange image. I think it's a good image and I don't feel it's hard to look at all.

That other Editor offered the 2nd image above as an improvement over SEor's alternative. Doubtless it is better, but that is irrelevant to the choice between the above 2 images.

7T. A supply-and-demand curve was in the Lead a few months ago for a short time. Its presence there arguably duplicated a more detailed image in the Supply-and-demand section but without needed explanatory background of the later section (on which, see also (3) immediately above).

8T. As to the (again uncited) source at the top of this page (Talk:Economics#New image depicting the field of economics), SE ignores the substance of a contrary response there (mine), to which no one took exception then.

9T. I see only 1 user above supporting the 2nd image-with-text over the 1st. I don't believe that the arguments for the 2nd meet the arguments against i6. –Thomasmeeks (talk) 02:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

This article in general was generally lambasted widely and by multiple people and was suggested by many to be rewritten and reorganized. That has pretty much happened over the period of the last several weeks, to I think good effect. The picture of the stock exchange as the lead picture was generally deemed by most as also not really a good lead picture for many of the reasons on the talk page (Americancentric, blurry, there are many aspects to economics other than financial economics, etc.) already gone through. Your edit mock up of the page Thomas, User:Thomasmeeks/Rough drafts - Wikipedia, was not all bad and provided a good base to improve the article. It may be time to move on... the articles are constantly changing hopefully toward improvement, and sometimes change is good. Neutral presentation is perhaps compromised with the N.Y. Stock exchange picture as the front and center focus. The article will be read and copied all over the world... and should not be Wall Street centric... or appear to present economics as originating from the U.S. The general picture of a bazaar which as said opens up nicely into an interesting and complex look at people and a basic slice of an economic market... may not be perfect.. but... a picture of the New York Stock exchange that is blurry... looks almost crazily frenetic... and gives the impression then that economics is related mostly to that picture... just does not imply a neutral or interesting presentation... in my view. skip sievert (talk) 16:43, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
10T. I’ll confine my remarks on the above distracters to a footnote.*
11T. A sufficient response on most non-distracters in the preceding is in earlier Edits.
12T. Of course, there is no mention in the top image-with-text of the New York Stack Exchange, Wall Street, or America.**
* I believe that most readers would find the preceding Edit closer to propaganda than comment. A tactic of keeping a Talk page section boiling in restated points rejected or refuted earlier is a formula for slowing or reversing improvement of the article. Changing discussion from the subject of this section seems more like a tactic of desperation than a response. As to frequency and volume of Edits on this page and the article, few would mistake quantity for quality of Edits. Change, yes. Improvement? That must be gauged with each Edit (insofar as comments can keep up with bad Edits).
** As per article Revision 20:29, 29 May 2008: “Restored image at top w text altered to rm irrelevant & arguably objectionable place ref.” Still, anyone interested can enlarge the image to determine which stock exchange it is. There’s nothing to apologize for in permitting that. –Thomasmeeks (talk) 21:35, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
The picture is awful. It ruins the beginning of the article. In simple language.skip sievert (talk) 02:43, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I prefer the image from Turkmenistan. The stock exchange picture is dark, and the blurriness makes it harder to look at. The Turkmenistan image is soothing and bright. It is hard to see the people in it, which is a drawback I suppose. Anyway, it seems like there's no clear consensus for either one at this point. II | (t - c) 02:50, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually there probably is a pretty clear consensus more toward removal of the stock exchange picture than keeping it... as near as I can tell, and I would urge you Imperfectly Informed to revert the picture if you have a mind to, and would agree that the other Turkmenistan picture is far better... and it is noted again that if it is clicked on... it opens nicely. I would add that the user that is making the argument for keeping it (stock exchange picture), has made an argument for the article to look pretty much exactly as it did a month ago which was not so pretty... There has been ample talk for some time, that the stock exchange picture ruins the beginning of the article. In simple language. Also what the user above was saying is borderline disinformation...(my opinion). The picture has been the source of people wanting to get rid of it for some time, as evidenced on the page history. Also when Mr. Meeks says A tactic of keeping a talk page section boiling in restated points rejected or refuted earlier is a formula for slowing or reversing improvement of the article. This seems a bit comical to me given that it has been a relentless effort to maintain the article as it was by himself. Propaganda no. My only interest is neutral and well presented info. That is all. Since the article looks pretty nice now... it seems like a shame to keep the awful blurry picture from the old edit. skip sievert (talk) 03:04, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to agree with Thomasmeeks that Skip is kicking around the same old points to keep this argument from resolving. There is no consensus, and I move to drop the point, for the time being anyway. -FrankTobia (talk) 20:17, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't want to jump in the middle of this and create more conflict... it appears to be a long dispute. But I thought I would toss in my 2 cents. I prefer the stock exchange image to the Turkmenistan image at the thumbnail resolution. However, the Turkmenistan image is quite large and provides the quality/detail to see the people in the market when displayed in full. What if we cropped the image, so that when it is presented in the thumbnail you get a closer view of the market and people? Perhaps this would satisfy both camps. Morphh (talk) 20:40, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
Not to worry... this is a friendly discussion that is only thinking about the presentation and content of the article. Please go ahead and do the above suggestion of making bigger and cropping the Turkmenistan picture. Some people here are attempting ... for what ever reason, to say that a user is kicking around the same old points to keep this argument from resolving. That is not the case. There is genuine dislike of this picture of the stock market from multiple contributors. I like this compromise idea, especially because it would mean ash canning the blurry picture. The new picture will add some color and life... and detail also. So... please go ahead and crop and insert it. skip sievert (talk) 22:18, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Here are a couple crop examples for discussion. Morphh (talk) 23:18, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I like both of these. In the mean time I changed the picture on the article from 300 to 400 px and placed the picture under your two crops above... what do you think of it now? I would be happy with any of these four though... The new bigger picture at 400px may be the ticket. I like the big concrete roof and open sky feeling to it.. but either of your crops look good also. I think I like the first of your crops, as to order on top the best.. because of the colors. Ok.... wait... I made bigger the cropped picture a little... the first one you did and put it above... and also on the article. It was 300 px and is now 350px. skip sievert (talk) 23:47, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I think the 400px is oversized (I'm running at 1440x900). I'd suggest 350px max. I'm not sure that making the bazaar picture larger changes much for visibility though. None of them stand out as a great pic for me. Morphh (talk) 0:05, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Lets see what kind of reaction the newly cropped and slightly larger picture elicits.skip sievert (talk) 00:11, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Looks like I commented after an update. That one looks better than the 400px original. Looks decent to me... Morphh (talk) 0:10, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

13T. At least the 2nd image with text had the advantage of looking something like an impressionist painting. Close up, it surrenders that.

14T. Could the text of the 1st image be adapted to the 2nd image, no matter what size? Hard to see how. That I believe makes for an appreciably worse fit with the rest of the Lead per (1) at the top of this section.

15T. On one point there might be agreement. The quality of article edits is unlikely to rise above the arguments and proposals that support them, whether serious, trivial, or beside the point. Most readers should have little difficulty in distinguishing which is which in the above. –Thomasmeeks (talk) 01:14, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Thanks for solving things Morphh. -FrankTobia (talk) 01:54, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, good solution. I like the cropped image. CRETOG8(t/c) 02:59, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I tried to expand the caption in an attempt to identify some of the points in the lead with regard to the topic as Thomasmeeks suggested in 14T. Morphh (talk) 16:29, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I changed that a little to this to explain the mechanism more.

Economics can be seen in action at this bazaar in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. A vibrant market for distribution and consumption of goods in exchange for scarce means, money or also barter being the vehicle of transaction]]

This could be changed further... or it may be ok the way it is. I just wanted the information to form a complete thought. Wiki-idea, we have finally reached harmony on the lead picture. The blurry picture is no longer a point of discussion most likely. It is now gone... and hopefully gone forever from the article. There are already a couple of pictures of stock exchanges lower in the article ... also. skip sievert (talk) 17:01, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

16T. I am saddened by the premature consensus above. Who would dare to challenge such thin cases as made there but commanding such a preponderance? Such a preponderance may be useful for shutting down discussion, but its transparncy bodes ill for article improvement.
17T. I do appreciate efforts to address (14T) above. But the current image-text largely duplicates material in the first paragraph or adds dead-end material relative to the rest of the Lead per (1) at the top. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 23:23, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Consensus has been proclaimed, but that doesn't necessarily mean there is consensus. I prefer the cropped bazaar picture to the stock-floor picture, but there are others who have been involved who have yet to make their preferences known. I do vastly prefer the stock-floor picture to the two outdoor pictures of stock exchanges--I don't see how those pictures of architecture add anything to the article. CRETOG8(t/c) 00:19, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Trying a new caption: "Economics studies individual decisions such as those made by buyers and sellers at this bazaar in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, as well as the broader results of those decisions." Better? CRETOG8(t/c) 00:28, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I've already said I like the bazaar, but the stock-floor picture seems like a good replacement for those buildings. Those buildings belong more on the NYSE page or something. II | (t - c) 00:25, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, at thumbnail size, I'm not sure the stock-floor picture is much better than the buildings picture. Check these out:
Face-to-face trading interactions on the trading floor of a stock exchange.
Is it worth including, at that size? CRETOG8(t/c) 00:33, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I hope that the god awful picture of the blurred for frenetic action... stock exchange, which could give someone a seizure... goes to a wiki ash can place, from whence it never ever is seen again, sadly it is also featured in the Business and economics portal side bar in the see also section of the lower article, when that is clicked on. The lower pictures of Stock Markets are in the right place and also are connected to where they are as to content. These are both good pictures... clear and a good compliment to their area.
Trying a new caption: "Economics studies individual decisions such as those made by buyers and sellers at this bazaar in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, as well as the broader results of those decisions." Better? User:Cretog... yes, that is better. skip sievert (talk) 02:11, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Traditonal marketplace. The physical arena where buyers and sellers meet and the traded items are present, ready to change hands. Ballard Farmers' Market - vegetables.
Virtual market arena where buyer and seller are not present and trade via intemediates and electronical information. Sao Paulo Stock Exchange.

Maybe I should just let dead dogs lie, but I thought these two pictures featured on the Market article were particularly good. They're sharper, clearer, and more colorful than the current image. The Sao Paulo Stock Exchange may be a good compromise for those that wanted the exchange look but disliked the blurry effects. Morphh (talk) 14:40, 04 September 2008 (UTC)

18T. A kind of postscript to the above is this hidden-text message that follows the preceding Edit:


If that was intended as a suggestion (as in "Vamoose!"[5]) I have to say that in some cases it may have come a bit late. New readers could be excused for taking what precedes it as parody without humor.

19T. One reality check on the above discussion is the following: Compare the image-with-text at the top with the current image-with-text in the article -- each relative to the rest of the Lead per (1) at the top.

20T. The Edit above that seemed decisive was for an enlarged image of the Bazaar, so that people were more distinct & “less blurry” than either of the 2 images at the top. There is no need to rehash the“bluriness.” argument against the 1st image, repeated throughout by the 2nd editor above and rejected at for example (2) at the top. Take away that argument, & discussion of the “compromise” current image-with-text in the Lead (on which there is such agreement above) is beside the point. The text of the current image is so nebulous because that is what the image allows. The text of the image at the top is so specific to the rest of the Lead (per (1) at the top), because that is what that image allows. –Thomasmeeks (talk) 16:59, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Thomasmeeks, the clear="all" is a formatting tag to prevent the images from overlaying into the section below. Images by default will break into the text below them. This tag forces a breakpoint in the "br" so that the image does not wrap into the text below. Morphh (talk) 20:34, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Limiting the section spread does make sense. Sadly, the appreciable deterioration of the Lead image-with-text (despite with the best available tweaking) per (19T-20T) above remains. It is at least emblematic of graver deteriorations in the article that follow. --Thomasmeeks (talk) 15:36, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
I do regret the last sentence above (now struck out) & any personal offense therefrom. It was unnecessary & undoubtedly counterproductive as to improving the rest of the article. Irrespective whether Edits later in the article have been deteroriations, they are distinct from the current image-with-text & would best be dealt with in another section. Lots of luck there, right? --Thomasmeeks (talk) 14:21, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

The dismal science

Should the article include a mention (probably in the "criticisms" section) of Thomas Carlyle's labelling of economics as "the dismal science"? I'd add something along these lines myself but the page is semi-protected. Ta.-- (talk) 21:33, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Added this paragraph
The dismal science is a derogatory alternative name for economics devised by the Victorian historian Thomas Carlyle in the 19th century. It is often stated that Carlyle gave economics the nickname "dismal science" as a response to the late 18th century writings of The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, who grimly predicted that starvation would result, as projected population growth exceeded the rate of increase in the food supply. The teachings of Malthus eventually became known under the umbrella phrase "Malthus' Dismal Theorem". His predictions were forestalled by unanticipated dramatic improvements in the efficiency of food production in the 20th century; yet the bleak end he proposed remains as a disputed future possibility, assuming human innovation fails to keep up with population growth. Also added this citation to the section -- ^ Malthus, Thomas Robert (1798). "Chapter II", An Essay on the Principle of Population, As It Affects the Future Improvement of Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and Other Writers, 1st edition, London: J Johnson. Retrieved on 2008-06-28. skip sievert (talk) 22:45, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
It's barely science. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Help on the Gibraltar Pound

If there are any currency board experts here, your help would be appreciated at Talk:Gibraltar#Gibraltar_Rupiah. We are a bunch of editors who don't really understand how the Gibraltar Pound relates to the British Pound :) The Red Hat of Pat Ferrick t 03:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)


Traditonal marketplace. The physical arena where buyers and sellers meet and the traded items are present, ready to change hands. Ballard Farmers' Market - vegetables.

Morph suggested this alternative picture a while back... and it seems to be easier on the eyes because of the image size and clarity, and also seems to fit the context here well being on another side than the economics bar. Or maybe it should also be on the right, as the other images on the page. Comments?

I like the hubbub of the previous picture better, and the previous caption seems more appropriate to me (but of course I'm biased on that). CRETOG8(t/c) 04:42, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
The thing I like about this one is the larger picturing of the humans in it, and the vibrant color. The caption can always be changed on this market picture... with links or other connectors, or other sentiment. skip sievert (talk) 04:49, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
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  7. ^ a b Lazear, Edward P. (2000). "Economic Imperialism". American Economic Review. 115 (1): pp. 99-994.  Text " Quarterly Journal of Economics" ignored (help) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Imperialism" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
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  9. ^ Blaug, Mark (2007). "The Social Sciences: Economics" (Postwar developments, Methodological considerations in contemporary economics), The New Encyclopædia Britannica, v. 27, pp. 346-47.
  10. ^ Becker, Gary S. (1976). The Economic Approach to Human Behavior. Links to chapter previews. University of Chicago Press.
  11. ^ Friedman, Milton (1953), "The Methodology of Positive Economics," Essays in Positive Economics, University of Chicago Press, pp. 14-15, 22, 31.
  12. ^ Boland, Lawrence A. (2008). "assumptions controversy." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition Online abstract. Accessed 30 May 2008.
  13. ^ Rappaport, Steven (1996). "Abstraction and Unrealistic Assumptions in Economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, 3(2}, pp. 215-236. Abstract, (1998). Models and Reality in Economics. Edward Elgar, p. 6, ch. 6-8.
  14. ^ Steady-State Economics, by Herman Daly
  15. ^,_Frederick Soddy, Frederick - Encyclopedia of Earth
  16. ^ Clark, B. (1998). Political-economy: A comparative approach. Westport, CT: Preager.
  17. ^ Robbins, Lionel (1945). An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science (PDF). London: Macmillan and Co., Limited. , p. 16
  18. ^ a b Baumgarter, Stefan. (2004). Thermodynamic Models, Modeling in Ecological Economics (Ch. 18)
  19. ^ Raine, Alan (2006). "The new entropy law and the economic process". Ecological Complexity. 3: 354–360. doi:10.1016/j.ecocom.2007.02.009.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help); Check date values in: |date= (help);
  20. ^ Peter A. Corning 1 *, Stephen J. Kline. (2000). Thermodynamics, information and life revisited, Part II: Thermoeconomics and Control information Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Apr. 07, Volume 15, Issue 6 , Pages 453 – 482
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  22. ^ Cleveland, C. and Ruth, M. 1997. When, where, and by how much do biophysical limits constrain the economic process? A survey of Georgescu-Roegen's contribution to ecological economics. Ecological Economics 22: 203-223.
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  25. ^ Mayumi,K. and Gowdy, J. M. (eds.) 1999. Bioeconomics and Sustainability: Essays in Honor of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
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