The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups; and to think of primary and secondary consequences. To see the problem as a whole and not in individual fragments.

Consequences: Everybody looks to the extra-vivid, observable evidence. But also consider what cannot be seen, or what never came into existence because of a particular course of action.

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In 'Applied Economics' by Thomas Sowell, the author applies the 'And then what..' framework. As he explains -

When I was an undergraduate studying economics under Professor Arthur Smithies of Harvard, he asked me in class one day what policy I favored on a particular issue of the times. Since I had strong feelings on that issue, I proceeded to answer him...

"And then what will happen?" he asked. The question caught me off guard...


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Warren Buffett gives an example of this analysis (Originally in Outstanding Investor Digest, but quoted from ‘Seeking Wisdom’, by Peter Bevelin):

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