the dismal science


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the dismal science

A disparaging term for the discipline of economics, coined in 1849 by Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle as a label for the school of economists who supported the abolition of slavery. Economists have predicted that the exponential population growth will eventually cause our entire society to collapse in on itself—I suppose that is why they are known as practitioners of the dismal science.
See also: dismal, science

dismal science, the

Economics. The term is Thomas Carlyle’s, and he first used it in On the Nigger Question (1849), writing: “The social science—not a ‘gay science’ but a rueful—which finds the secret of this Universe in ‘supply and demand’ . . . what we might call, by way of eminence, the dismal science.” He repeated it the following year in a pamphlet, and it gradually caught on, becoming particularly popular among students struggling with the subject’s complexities.
See also: dismal
References in periodicals archive ?
WORCESTER -- As co-author of the best-selling "Freakonomics'' book series, Stephen Dubner makes what has been called "the dismal science'' -- economics -- less dismal for millions of readers.
We didn't get the nickname "the dismal science" almost two centuries ago by accident, after all.
Embarking here at the always uneasy intersection of philosophy and economic theory, Danish scholar Ole Bjerg has the chops for unpacking the dismal science, discussing economic concepts with flair and mostly avoiding stumbles into the dogmatic realm of the disciplines' competing languages and logics.
Nothing in economics is infinite but the closest you will get to that as a concept in the dismal science is employment.
Mrs Thatcher was at her most persuasive for many, myself not included, when she translated the dismal science of economics into terms that people could relate to in what was called kitchen table economics.
Motivated by his own ignorance, Michael Goodwin decided to find out more about "the dismal science." The result is Economix (Abrams ComicArts), a surprisingly entertaining use of the graphic novel format for education in a sometimes tricky but always important field.
Economics have been described as the dismal science, and it has reached the stage of being grim because of the plight we are in.
The students of the dismal science polled by the National Association for Business Economics forecast U.S.
Musgrave takes on Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan.
Charles Wheelan (2003), author of Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, writes, "The sad irony of Econ 101 is that students too often suffer through dull, esoteric lectures while economics is going on all around them." My own experience reinforces Wheelan's point.
One economist predicts below-average economic growth for at least the next 20 years (no wonder economics is called the dismal science).
Encouraged by Ayn Rand pabulum and the nostrums of the dismal science, the market is now the primary prism through which we understand our world.
It certainly seems that the media is currently full of opinions from members of "the dismal science" cautioning against getting carried away by the recent strength in investment markets.
BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS IS THE HOTTEST thing in the dismal science. A parade of books and magazine articles in the last few years has informed us of its implications for business, polities, and public policy.
His steady-state economics is a subdiscipline that adds another "eco," as in ecology, to the issues that should most concern practitioners of the dismal science. It tries to discern how economic systems can comprehensively benefit humankind without sucking the planet completely--and permanently--dry in the process.