Hi Mark and thank you for your kind words.
You make an interesting point about ‘social value’ and ‘economic value.’ And the exact difference between the two would obviously depend on the specific definitions you chose to use.
What’s notable, however, is that your idea of ‘economic value’ seems to be very different to how I, as an economist, would use the term.
You write: “Make profits — clearly economic value.” But I wouldn’t agree with that at all!
The problem, perhaps, is that very few people, other than economists, have an accurate idea about what Economics is, what it’s about and what the skills of an economist are.
If I was to ask you to give your own definition of what Economics is all about, what sort of answer would you give?
A lot of people seem to have the idea that Economics is all about money and profits, but they could hardly be further from the truth. Some of the most important special skills of an economist are actually to be able to see past the money considerations that other people seem to be obsessed with and to focus instead on the underlying considerations about real resources that are at the heart of how our societies operate - and on the human psychology behind our resource-related decisions. Fundamentally, Economics isn’t really about money at all.
Thus, when I refer to the ‘economic value’ of an activity, I’m talking in broad terms about the benefits that activity can bring to individuals and to society.
If you’d like to know more about what Economics is really about, I have an entire series of relevant articles available for your to read:
I hope you manage to read them and find them informative and interesting!