Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Wonder What Tyler Cowen Means by This?

Earlier today, Tyler Cowen put out the following Twitter post:
At my local Giant they are now calling "Customer Service" the "Solutions Corner."
A few weeks ago, I would have taken this to mean that Cowen was pointing out an absurdity. I mean, grocery store "Customer Service" centers are not going to be doing anything different now that Giant is calling them the "Solutions Corner."

But now, since it comes out after some name changing events at GMU, I am not so sure.

Just a few weeks ago, his colleagues at GMU announced that they were no longer going to call their blog, "Austrian economists" but rather "Coordination problems," although it seems they are doing this within the structure of the thinking of Austrian economists such as F.A. Hayek and Israel Kirzner.

So it seems to me the two name changes don't mean much. The folks in both cases are pretty much doing the same thing.

Cowen called the name change by the GMUers, "wise" and one that took "courage," so I am wondering if he thinks his grocery store chain's move is a "wise" step that took "courage"? Or am I missing something, and Cowen sees a difference?

Perhaps, it is the ying and yang of it all. The GMUers name change includes the word, "problems, " the grocery store name change includes the word, "solutions".

On just what level is Cowen thinking about all this?

Is Cowen trying to tip us off to a trend he sees developing, first GMUers, then grocery chains, then others? Perhaps he is expecting "politicians" to announce they are going to call themselves "interventionists". Perhaps we should watch Cowen's blog, I'm assuming he is still calling it a "blog", for further elucidation.


  1. Robert,

    I think you are missing something - the joke. "Solutions Corner," sounds like a funny play on words to an economist because of "Corner Solutions"

    I doubt Cowen ment anything more.

  2. I doubt Cowen ment (sic) anything more.

    That's too bad.

    I didn't realize anyone thought about "corner solutions" after they graduated.

    Let me know what you think after you graduate.