Yoram Bauman: The Layman’s Principles Of Economics

BIL: Oakland 2016 Recession Generation was an Earthsharing.org conference in Oakland, California on July 9th, 2016. Yoram Bauman, who declares himself the world’s first and only stand-up economist, took the opportunity to present a humorous interlude before a featured panel on optimal taxation.

“Many people are surprised that I do economics comedy for a living. I believe it is one of the last jobs that will be taken over by robots.”

Bauman spoke about political apathy and his belief that centrist swing voters are to blame for budget deficits. The misinformed voter will respond to ideas for new infrastructure and to promises of tax cuts, without realizing the necessary tradeoffs to achieve this, he said.

“In America, there are a lot of swing voters. If you are not a communist or a fascist, then you are probably a swing voter. And if you do not know the difference between communists and fascists then you are definitely a swing voter. Now, your job when it comes to politics and current events, extremely important… your job is to pay absolutely no attention whatsoever, and then every four years you determine the fate of the free world. I know it sounds like a big responsibility, but trust me, don’t give it a second thought.”

Bauman’s main presentation was his revised and translated version of Greg Mankiw’s 10 Principles of Economics:


  1. People face tradeoffs
  2. The cost of something is what you give up to get it
  3. Rational people think at the margin
  4. People respond to incentives
  5. Trade can make everyone better off
  6. Markets are usually a good way to organize economic activity
  7. Governments can sometimes improve market conditions
  8. A country’s standard of living depends on its ability to produce goods and services
  9. Prices rise when the government prints too much money
  10. Society faces a short-run tradeoff between inflation and unemployment


  1. Choices are bad
  2. Choices are really bad
  3. People are stupid
  4. People aren’t that stupid
  5. Trade can make everyone worse off
  6. Governments are stupid
  7. Governments aren’t that stupid
  8. Blah blah blah
  9. Blah blah blah
  10. Blah blah blah

Watch the full talk below:

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Featured photo: Alaska Dispatch News


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