Economics in a Fortune Cookie

A Chinese fortune cookie typically offers homely advice or bland predictions with your dessert.  But a recent one offered a good economics lesson:  “The cost of something is what you give up to get it.”  Nice to see the idea of opportunity cost enshrined between baked bits of dough.  I wonder, though, what one does give up at a Chinese restaurant?  (HT: TW)



Joseph Tuite

Usually time in the restroom fairly quickly after eating it

Dave F.

I don't see how there are dislikes with this comment - it is absolutely true. I haven't ever had a truly excellent General Tso chicken without the pang of regret in my stomach afterwards

Steve Nations

So the cost of my Chinese meal is two tacos?

Will not be published

The price of the meal?

Enter your name...

Ten dollars and the ability to eat anything else with sodium in it for the rest of the day (if you're trying to maintain a diet at the recommended levels for sodium).


appetizer at chinese restaurant: $5; entree at chinese restaurant: $10; dessert at chinese restaurant: $5; getting a fortune cookie that is profound, moving and gramatically correct (both for straight up and 'in bed' readings): priceless


the cost at eating at a Chinese restaurant is the same as eating at any restaurant (if we're not talking about price). according to what the fortune cookie says and the idea of opportunity cost, then the cost of eating at a Chinese restaurant is just giving up the choice to eat at a restaurant of another type.

regardless, the opportunity cost of eating any type of meal is low, that's why we don't care that Yelp is full of leeches and lunatics. good to know it'll IPO for billions.

Jerome Solanum

OH HO HO! Hammermesh has come up with a zinger yet again!

Anton Norbert

I give up, healthy eating.