My favorite type of critical thinking is the kind that is contrarian.
A thinking that turns conventional wisdom around and – after a little bit of digging – reveals itself the opposite of what you first assumed.
I think this is why I was so drawn to studying economics.
I’ll give you three examples.
- Most think minimum wage laws increase wages. Minimum wage laws are actually best at causing unemployment among lower skilled workers.
- Most think rent controls makes housing more affordable. In reality, rent control causes a shortage of available housing.
- And, most cringe-worthy of all, healthcare is an “economic good.”
All of this second level thinking is pointed out (in economics) by Frédéric Bastiat in his classic book, Economics In One Lesson.
Look for: The Broken Window Fallacy.
The old man could make me laugh, and he did so quite often; but mostly, he made me think. Not necessarily about a certain thing . . . He made me think in ways I had never considered. Jones had a knack for turning a situation or a deep-seated belief upside down or sideways in such a manner that it became perfectly clear and made total sense.
-Andy Andrews, The Noticer Returns