Yogi Berra the economist


It's for those who follow American rounders to tell us how important he was to that game, and of course Yogi Berra was famous for his sayings:

He was particularly noted for his fractured relationship with the English language, and Yogi Berraisms were eagerly sought after by collectors. Famous examples included: “It ain’t over till it’s over”; “This is like déjà vu all over again”; “When you come to a fork in the road, take it”; “Baseball is 90 per cent mental, the other half is physical”; and “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours”.

We, however, would like to point to his skill as an economist. Contained here in this phrase:

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

It can, of course, be read just as it is. And yet the second possible reading manages to describe such large amounts of the world. Hipsters, Veblen Goods, conspicuous consumption, why trendy restaurants and nightclubs have their moment in the Sun then die, even why popular beat combos have cycles of popularity.

Nobody important (or "famous", or "cool", or "fashionable") goes there any more. It's too crowded.

To distill pretty much the entire post-subsistence human economy into one short phrase. Now there's an achievement to aspire to, eh?