Sunday, November 28, 2004

A Salute to My Guru

For my first post here, I want to salute my guru (Hindi for teacher), Dr. Thomas Sowell.

I first came across his columns in Forbes magazine 15 years ago. Those days I remember trying to make sense of an entry in my paychecks with the name "FICA", and a hefty cut. I decided to look it up in the library and was pointed to the Economics and Politics section in Non-Fiction. There I saw many of his books on the same shelves. I learnt about the mess that is the US Social Security system. But I also picked up a few of Dr. Sowell's books and learnt a lot more about the overlapping spheres of economics, politics, and public policy. To my considerable surprise, I understood and enjoyed reading these books!

His columns helped me understand the hotly debated issues of the day in politics. Using his background as an economics professor and a desire to help us understand the issues, he stripped them of their emotional labels, and showed the economic impact of policies on various players. When these ideas became accessible to me, I found myself enjoying the experience. I even picked up and read some books on economics (!) at the layman's level, books like these at the Armchair Economics Reading List. (Hat tip: Trader Mike mentioned it in the Carnival of the Capitalists )

(Even now, I hesitate to admit I like reading about economics. It is not going to earn me any "cool points" in my IT circles. "Yo, keep it on the down low, bro!")

He showed me a framework of basic economic ideas I could build on. That is why I can say everything I know about politics and economics I owe to his writing. Maybe he will see this salute and make time to meet me someday. Professor?


Blogger Michael said...

Welcome to the blogosphere and thanks for the 'hat tip'.

November 29, 2004 at 11:27 AM  

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