top of page

What is Guinea Nomics?

Guinea Nomics is a people-centered way to talk about Economics as delivered by... guinea pigs. (The pet kind, not the lab kind.) We approach Economics as a scientific discipline, and define Microeconomics as the study of individual decision-making, and  Macroeconomics as the study of how resources are distributed across society. 

Why the guinea pigs?

Like humans, guinea pigs are social animals. We live together in groups and suffer when kept in isolation. We form close bonds and develop complex social hierarchies. When resources are scarce, we compete. When they are plentiful, we share. Some of us are driven to dominate others, and some of us are natural peacemakers. We're a whole lot like humans, except we don't have hands. Or pockets.

Why these guinea pigs?

This particular guinea pig enclosure has always been a hotbed of socioeconomic debate. We come from different backgrounds,  with different attitudes about the world. 

 

Rosie was hand-raised by her first owner, and may have been a dog in a previous life. Or is in training to be a dog in her next life. She loves people and demands to be picked up, held, cuddled, and listened to. It was rough being at the SPCA, so she was more than ready for a second family. What she was not ready for, was other guinea pigs. She did not know their customs. It took her a long settling in period, but she has now mastered the art of guinea pigging. 

Sweet Potato had a lovely cage mate and some nice kids to play with - but not a lot of room to move around in a teeny cage. When her first cage mate died, she got a new friend: Pumpkin. But the kids were older and Pumpkin never got much human attention. She's still quite awkward with humans and does not like to be touched. Potato and Pumpkin's first family had to give them up when they moved to a new apartment with a no- pet policy.

Pepper was in something of a hoarding situation, and had medical issues that needed fixing before she could find another home. She lived in the SPCA vet station for a while, wearing an adorable compression garment to keep her from fiddling with her sutures. She's seen some bad in people, but also the very best. She loves having guinea pig friends, and jumps for joy any time a human tidies up the enclosure.

But what do they know about Economics?

None of the guinea pigs, or their owners, are professional Economists - but being prey animals, they are keen observers. And quite skittish - dashing about from here to there, somehow acquiring an eclectic array of degrees (in Economics, Social Work and Paralegal Studies), and job experiences (from service worker to office management, compliance, and program development; child welfare, crisis response, educational outreach, legal aid, and advocacy).  They've found themselves in corporate headquarters, megadonor fundraisers, emergency rooms, homeless shelters, and group homes.

 

So they know something a lot of  professional Economics don't (or seem to have forgotten). That Economics isn't just about business. It's about people. All the people. Everywhere.

Guinea Friends_edited.jpg
bottom of page