Paul Harvell
Hass Division Office

Becoming a captain (or Cap'n as I like to say) and starting a cereal company is a minor part of my background. Most of my life I have spent studying economics and trying to find ways for students to understand and be able to utilize economic theory.

Why study economics? Economists are employed more and earn more income than most other majors, but if money is your main motivating factor, you probably won't be a good economist. I suggest studying the art of warfare and then being an investment banker for that. You should study economics because you are fascinated by how people interact to create the human-made world around us. Economics will allow you to understand why a celebrity chef makes $20 million a year and the chef actually cooking your meal makes $25,000 a year – though you probably still won’t like it why it is. But you’ll understand why. You shouldn’t study economics if you’re completely comfortable with everything you currently believe about the world. Economics will challenge your thinking and beliefs. Economics requires evidence, so believing is not enough. If you want to hold on to your current views, don’t take economics.

Evidence is why economists are also seriously involved in statistics (and created a field of statistics called "econometrics"). This is why economists can also be found teaching statistics. They have also been known to gamble, tell jokes, bake cookies, and invent "crunch berries". Can you believe someone sued because they said it wasn't clear that "crunch berries" were not a real fruit?