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Q: What do you get when you cross an economist with a Mafia godfather?

A: An offer you can’t understand.

DEFINITION OF AN ECONOMIST - 1            A_acct.gif (14873 bytes)

An economist is someone who’s pretty good with numbers but who doesn’t have the personality to be an accountant.


An economist is someone who finds something that works in practice and wonders whether it would work in theory.


A geologist, a physicist, and an economist are marooned on a desert island with nothing to eat. A can of soup washes ashore. They ponder how to open it. The geologist says, "Let’s smash it open with a rock." The physicist says, "Let’s heat it up and blow it open." The economist says, "No, no. You guys will lose most of the soup. Let’s just assume a can opener."


A head of state listened to an economic policy session in which his economic advisor went on at length, "On the one hand this, but on the other hand that." After the session he turned to his special assistant and said, "The next time I appoint an economic advisor, remind me to find someone who’s one-handed!"


Waste is economic sin, but sin is not economic waste.

BS00044A.gif (2229 bytes)     One homeowner talking to his neighbor: "You know, inflation’s not so bad. At least it allows us to live in a higher-priced neighborhood without having to move."


  • Winston Churchill: The vice of capitalism is that it stands for the unequal sharing of blessings, whereas the virtue of socialism is that it stands for the equal sharing of misery.
  • Anonymous Hungarian: Q: What is socialism? A: The longest and most painful road from capitalism to capitalism.
  • Anonymous: Under capitalism humans exploit humans. Under communism it’s just the opposite.
  • Anonymous Soviet Citizen: Q: Was communism invented by biologists or economists?
                                                  A: Economists. Biologists would have tried it out on rats first.
  • Henry Fairlie: The Capitalist Manifesto: "From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed."


In Canada there is a radical sect whose members refuse to speak English, and no one can understand them. They are called radical separatists.
In the U.S. we have the same kind of group. They are called economists.


One investor talking to another: "When oil prices went up, economists were gloomy. When oil prices went down, economists were gloomy. I can only conclude that economists are perpetually gloomy people!"


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Q: What’s the question most frequently asked of an                                                     economics graduate in her/his first job?

A: Can I have some catsup with my fries?


Economics can’t make you a millionaire, and it can’t keep you out of the poor house, but it can help you understand how you got there.


Said of Glen Loury: He started off by majoring in math, but was drawn to economics, because one could do math while maintaining the credible pretense of relevance by labeling the variables.


A business executive interviewed three candidates for the position of quantitative consultant to his company. One was a mathematician, one a sociologist, and one an economist. He invited them one by one into his office, saying he wanted some insight into how they’d perform on the job and had a question for them: "What’s two plus two?" The mathematician answered, "Why, four, of course." The sociologist responded, "Well, it all depends. We have to look at the context of the question, its antecedents, the general view in the population as a whole of this sort of question, and many other things." The economist moved close to the executive and in a furtive voice said, "What do you want it to be?"


A prominent economist, lecturing to a group of undergraduates on problems of income, employment, and inflation, was asked by one, "What’s the secret to running a stable and prosperous economy?" His answer was, "There are three classical rules for prosperity and stability. (pause) Unfortunately, no one knows what they are!"

FORECASTING           A_frcst.gif (6100 bytes)

  • Economists are people who’ll figure out tomorrow why the forecast they made yesterday wasn’t realized today.
  • Two balloonists were blown into thick clouds and lost their way. On coming out of the clouds they saw a field below with a person standing there. "Where are we?" they shouted down. "You’re in damn balloon!" was the reply. Just at that moment a gust of wind whisked them away before they could continue the conversation, and as they floated off, one turned to the other and said, "You know, that person must have been an economist." Puzzled by the remark, her companion asked why. "Well, only an economist could give an answer so precise, but of so little use!"
  • An economic forecaster is like a cross-eyed javelin thrower: he doesn’t win many contests for accuracy, but he keeps the crowd’s attention.
  • Q: Why did God create economic forecasters?
    A: To make weather forecasters look good.
  • There are two classes of forecasters: those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know.
  • To err is human; to get paid for it is divine!


A woman walking down the road comes across a shepherd and a large flock of sheep. She says to the shepherd, "I’ll bet you $100 against one of those sheep that I can tell you the exact number in your flock." The shepherd thinks it over and accepts the bet. "973," says the woman. The shepherd is astonished, because that is the correct number. He says, "I’m a man of my word, so pick out whichever sheep you’d like." The woman chooses an animal and starts to walk away with it.

"Wait!" shouts the shepherd, "Let me have a chance to get even. My animal back if I can guess your exact occupation." The woman agrees. "You’re a quantitative economist for a government agency," he says. The woman responds, "You’re correct; that’s amazing! But how did you know?" "Well," says the shepherd, "put down my dog and I’ll tell you."