“I’ve been an economist for some 30 years,” says Tyler Cowen. “In this time, I’ve learned that by applying some basic economics to my food choices, I can make nearly every meal count.” Here are his six simple rules:
- At fancy restaurants, order what sounds the least appetizing.
- Avoid restaurants that are popular for their social scene.
- Look for good restaurants in the suburbs, where the rent is lower. Or, really, anyplace the rent is low.
- Ask other people for advice.
- Patronize family-run restaurants.
- Thai restaurants are becoming too Americanized, so try Vietnamese instead.
Hmmm. This might all be good advice, but as near as I can tell, only two of these items (#1 and #3) really have any economic content to speak of. The others are either common sense (#4), pieces of longstanding conventional wisdom (#2 and #5), or a matter of taste (#6). Has Tyler succumbed to the Freakonomics disease, where pretty much everything related to human action is now considered a subset of economics? Say it ain’t so!