Jeff Thredgold, CSP, Economic Futurist

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On The One Hand...
The Economist’s Joke Book

On the One Hand book cover
Think about it.  What profession is the subject of more jokes and humor than that of being an economist. 

…OK, other than lawyers—who clearly deserve the abuse.

Economics is known as "the dismal science."  It can be a bit intimidating, boring, frustrating, and confusing in the hands of an amateur.  It gets even worse in the hands of a professional. 

As a friend of mine suggests (and he's a lawyer!), it's high time economics is given the respect and status it deserves alongside all the other occult sciences.

The following jokes are largely from a list I have compiled over my 30+ years in the profession.  Names, dates, and raw language have been changed to protect the innocent.

Also included are some of the less insightful quotes of the past few generations.  While these people were not economists, they showed real potential. joke book inside cover

As an economic futurist and professional speaker, I have found that using humor when speaking and writing makes economics more tolerable.  Having some fun with the dismal science is what this book is all about.  I hope you enjoy it…and pass it along to a friend.


About The Cover
President Harry S. Truman once said he wanted an economist who was one-handed.  Why?  Because his economic advisors would typically give him economic advice stating, "On the one hand….And on the other...."



I asked an economist for her phone number.

…She gave me an estimate.

A man was sent to Hell for his sins. As he was being processed, he passed a room where an economist he knew was having an intimate conversation with a beautiful woman.

"What a crummy deal!" The man complained. "I have to burn for all eternity and that economist spends it with that gorgeous woman."

An escorting demon jabs the man with his pitchfork and shouts, "Who are you to question that woman's punishment?"

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

—Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.


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