Evan Soltas
Dec 17, 2013

How I Got Into Econ

I did an interview with a youth newspaper, with questions coming to me over email, this week. I talked about a lot of different topics with them, but I'll just repost the stuff I don't think I've written about before on this blog, which was how I got into economics in the first place:

The simple answer to this question is 2008 happened. The facts of financial crisis and deep recession made it seem like economics was a good use of my time, that there were meaningful debates to be had and problems to be solved. That has proved true. I’m pretty sure I would have ended up becoming an engineer had 2008 not happened, and so what I got interested in was really a question of what’s the best use of the way I think about problems. In 2008, that was economics.

The longer answer is that I was lucky to have teachers in my life who helped me discover and realize my deep interest in this subject. The greatest credit goes to Michael Ellithorpe, who was my freshman history teacher at the naval vocational high school I went to for two years, and who discovered that I was a good writer and, like any good teacher, decided to reward that by giving me more work to do on my own. Since he taught a combined one-year elective course in economics and sociology to seniors, and the fall term was economics, that was what I was going to learn. He also recruited me for a program called Fed Challenge, which explains why the economic issue everybody knows me for writing about is monetary policy.

The other person you should blame for getting me into economics is Giorgio Secondi, who was basically my mentor for the rest of my time in high school. He was the one who kept me thinking about economic issues well after the moment of crisis, and he probably was the first reader of my blog. He was also simply far more demanding about how hard and how far I should push myself in the subject than I was in the beginning.

By the way, there were a lot of reference links I put in, which you can see subtly (a bit too subtly, really) if you roll over the relevant text.