An old speech by Tom Sargent has had some praise and some criticism. But what would a more heterodox list of 12 economic principles look like? Here's my effort, observing Sargent's constraints of concision and relevance for young people starting out in life:
2. Many things are true but not very significantly so.
5. There is a great deal of ruin in a nation, and in an organization.
7. Trade-offs between values are more common than politicians pretend, but are not ubiquitous.
8. Cognitive biases are everywhere.
9. Everything matters at the margin, but the margin might not be very extensive.
10. The social sciences are all about mechanisms. The question is: which ones work when and where? This means there are few if any universal laws in the social sciences; context matters.
12. Risk comes in many types. Reducing one type of it often means increasing exposure to another type.