ClearTips: Powerful paragraphs

Imply the point in an analogy or syllogism

Analogies and syllogisms can make a topic more engaging. In analogies, A is likened to B: money to water, servant to financial servant, and master to industrial master.

Money is like a body of water; a pebble dropped in here, a sluice gate opened there, can send ripples or waves that erode coastlines or flood cities far away. Junk bonds and hostile takeovers are mechanisms and outcomes rather than causes in themselves; building sea walls against them will not deal with their origins. The water will find other ways to transmit the forces which it is carrying.

No man is a hero to his valet: the close and obedient servant sees all the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of his master. So it is with the financial servant and its industrial master. Weaknesses in industry and in its political, legal, and social surroundings are observed by the financial system in their finest detail. Worst of all, finance is less discreet than the valet. It passes on its master's frailties for all to see.

More complicated, a syllogism likens A to B, B to C, and thus A to C.

All the conversational devices of economics, whether words or numbers, may be viewed as figures of speech. They are all metaphors, analogies, ironies, appeals to authority. Figures of speech are not mere frills. They think for us. Someone who thinks of a market as an "invisible hand" and the organization of work as a "production function" and coefficients as being "significant," as an economist does, is giving the language a great deal of responsibility. It seems a good idea to look hard at this language.

Here the writer has likened conversational devices of economics to figures of speech, and figures of speech (not mere frills) to [things that] think for us.

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