[To Entertain] Connecting some economic dots thru a French joke?Submitted by Cyril on Mon, 01/16/2012 - 04:59
Okay, this is definitely a nerdy joke (*) and a somehow far fetched one at this. Bear with me.
It's about student engineers from three of our "prestigious" French engineering schools.
The engineers school #1 produces know a lot but are poor craftsmen.
The engineers school #2 produces know almost as much as school #1 but are also poor craftsmen.
The engineers school #3 produces know even less than school #2, but have unmatched craftsmanship skills.
One student per school is picked up. Each student has to design and to lead the construction of a bridge.
For the student of school #1, once built the bridge collapses immediately, but the student knows why and brags about how smart he/she is.
For the student of school #2, the bridge collapses immediately, but the student has no clues why, and stays stuck like a deer in the headlights.
For the student of school #3, the bridge doesn't collapse, actually proves itself surprisingly robust long thereafter, but the student doesn't really know why... and just doesn't care.
As I don't want to offend anyone, I would certainly not try to make any parallel with prestigious American universities ;)
Now, don't take it too seriously of course, but I found it amusing to make the parallel with the Austrian school of economics we prefer vs. other "mainstream" ones that Ron Paul's opponents take for granted in their usefulness.
I like to think of school #1 as being (maybe! speculation! spoiler alert! or... maybe not! ;) the metaphor of ... Neo-Keynesianism.
I like to think of school #2 as being the metaphor of failing socialist theories in denial of the reality of what humans motives, aspirations, and hopes can be.
Finally, I really like to think of school #3 as being the metaphor of the more humble, more pragmatic Austrian school of economics, which puts more value in the qualitative dimensions of the economy rather than its quantitative ones.
(*) which has been around for more than a century in the French university level public education system :
P.S. Credit to my wife who had me recall about this joke of my student years, after playing with her new silly Android App! Tsk tsk