Dylan on the Economy: A Contest
I’m a longtime Dylan fan — to the point of being somewhat tragic about it. (Indeed, I’m dragging Betsey along to his Philly show this Friday.)
On the quantification and rationalization of happiness:
“You walk into the room with your pencil in your hand.
You see somebody naked and you ask ‘who is that man?’
You try so hard, but you can’t understand,
Just what you will say when you get home.
Because something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is; Do you, Mr. Jones?”
~ “Ballad of a Thin Man” by Bob Dylan
Ouch, that hurt. Tough, but fair. Anyone taking happiness data seriously probably deserves that lash.
Let’s build on these literary efforts. Which Dylan lyrics would you use to describe the economy?
I can only offer a free piece of Freakonomics schwag for the best contribution and look forward to your suggestions.
For inspiration, take a look at this blog, which uses popular music to teach economics. Some broader context: research shows that Dylan is the most highly cited songwriter in law journal and judicial opinions, including this one. And a fun fact: Matt Rabin is the only economist whose CV lists his favorite Dylan song.