The Economics Agent

There are two different aspects of economic issues. One has to do with the theory of economics, and another with straight business issues. Seen as a war for oil, the Gulf War had a lot to do with issues of how countries control their own economic destinies, the self-sufficiency of nations, cartels, and free enterprise. It is relatively easy to launch into a discussion of basic economics as a result of hearing a story about this war, just as with the science agent it was rather easy to link up to a good physics lesson.

On the other hand, there are also specific, concrete issues of business. What would have happened to the price of oil if Iraq had kept Kuwait? How does a billion dollar a day expense affect the economy of the US? What business interest stood to gain the most from the war? Who was hurt? What are the long term effects?

As with the other searching agents, we see the distinction between the large and the particular. We might need to understand the war from the perspective of the economic theories involved, or from the set of business cases it created. Either should be made available via the two personas of the Economics Agent:

• Adam Smith: "What are the economic implications of this story?"

• John D. Rockefeller: "What are the business implications of this story?"

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