How much better is the general understanding of economics today, 400 years after Jonson's play was first produced? My guess is: not much at all. That is a sobering realization. How can it be that, 234 years since the first publication of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, so many people still believe so many false things about economics? And it isn't just the uneducated masses: it is even among our intellectual elite.
Here is a recent illustrative example: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday--that would be April 6, 2010--gave an interview in which she said this: "It's like the back of the refrigerator. All you need to know is, you open the door. The light goes on. You open this door, you go through a whole different path, in terms of access to quality, affordable healthcare for all Americans."