Monday, February 7, 2011

Is There No Sacred Territory for the Economists?

I'm fascinated by the study of economics.  Not the boring, 101 stuff from college, but the more recent offerings.  For example, I think the book Freakonomics is as entertaining as it is interesting.  Written by Steven D. Levitt (with Stephen J. Dubner), Freakonomics applies economic principles to all sorts of crazy stuff, like drug dealers and Roe vs. Wade and swimming pools.  

If you like Freakonomics, then you will also like the book by Steven E. Landsburg (see left).  It's along the same vein, starting off with a discussion about how the prevalence of sexually-transmitted diseases would decrease if more people "slept around".  You've got to read it to truly understand the concept.   

So when this article hit my favorite news site today, I was immediately intrigued:

(Newser) – Forget the usual advice on reawakening your love life: more foreplay, se* journals, role-playing. Instead, try economics. Today’s couples can’t afford “excess time and energy,” write Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson in the Daily Beast. Drop the cost, and you’ll increase demand, “as any economist will tell you.” Tell your partner when you’re up for it, and then “make it quick.”

Transparency is another key element of economics: it “keeps the wheels of the free market—and, coincidentally, your se* life—greased.” Szuchman and Anderson interview hundreds of couples, and found that those reporting the best sex lives were those who were clear about when they wanted to jump in bed. Boost your se* life, and you’ll develop a “rational addiction:” “Become a rabbit and you’re upping the odds that you’ll stay a rabbit.”

Of course, my first thought was that this cannot be credible because it was not written by someone named Steve...seems like all the great economists are named Steve.  My second thought was, can the concept of supply and demand really be applied to everything?  And my third thought was that we need more people coming down with a "rational addiction"...because most people I know have an "irrational addiction"...and that's a serious condition, only second in severity to "ignorance addiction", which plagues 4 out of 5 drivers during Chicago weather-related events.  It's a well known fact.

*Since many of my subscribers send this to a work e-mail address, I've "toned it down" by removing the "x".


  1. I'm quite sure that not only are Steve's experts in economics, but also se*, so this must be accurate. It has been one man's observation that there is a direct correlation between lack of "excess time and energy" and stage of life. For example, when one has more than 1 child and works, there is no such thing as excess time and energy so the quickie is probably a good idea. As a scientist, the only way to know is to test this theory...

  2. Interesting, but a blog like this cannot expect its readers to read a post like that and not also expect the blogger to put the theory to the test. Your credibility is riding on it.

    And possibly on Steve.