The Impossibility of the Ham Sandwich

Welcome to the first installment of Economics for English Majors. In the future it (probably) will be part of my weekly newsletter, Wanderland, which will make its debut imminently (and, with any luck, eminently.) Like many of my Dispatch colleagues, I found Henry Hazlitt’s famous Economics in One Lesson eye-opening, and I am hoping to offer Dispatch readers something along those lines—but, sometimes, you want more than one lesson.

I was, for a minute, an economics major as an undergraduate, until one of my professors did me the great favor of talking me out of that. The conversation went something like this:

“Do you know what you do with an undergraduate degree in economics, Williamson?”

“Not really. I hadn’t thought that far ahead.”

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