1. Go live in a very poor country for a while, and I don’t mean in the fancy part of town.
2. Go live in a wealthy but distant country for a while. Canada doesn’t count.
3. Try raising some money for your university or non-profit and maintain regular contact with the donors for a period of years.
4. Try meeting a payroll for at least twelve months.
5. Work for a short period of time (or longer) on a trading floor or rapid-fire trading environment of some kind.
6. Testify in court.
7. Consult for a local business; the stupider the owner the better.
8. Work as an editor.
9. Work as a manual laborer; in my case I wrapped produce in a New Jersey supermarket for two years as a teenager.
10. Fire someone, especially someone you like.
11. Spend at least one year in government.
12. Work on at least one major project with a multilateral institution.
I am weakest on #5 and #11, with involvement on #4 but relying on the competent help of others. The other experiences have all contributed significantly to my views on economics and of course politics. My lack of #11 truly is a big gap, but I am simply physically unable to put myself in one of those rooms downtown and stay there all day long. Brad DeLong and Greg Mankiw are stronger he-men than I am. Much stronger. Qué lástima!
Surely Arnold Kling can add to this list…