Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. Economists love incentives. They love to dream them up and enact them, study them and tinker with them. The typical economist believes the world has not yet invented a problem that he can not fix if given a free hand to design the proper incentive scheme. His solution may not always be pretty - it may involve coercion or exorbitant penalties or the violation of civil liberties - but the original problem, rest assured, will be fixed.