In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so occasionally, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
Editor's Note: Tonight on the NewsHour, Paul Solman talks to Matt Ridley -- best-selling author, zoologist and one-time bank chairman. The "rational optimist" makes the case -- rare in these days of economic unease -- that life on earth for humans has just kept getting better and better.
In this online extra, Ridley describes why he believes prosperity has evolved since the stone age because of the exchange of goods and services.
Ridley has also agreed to answer your questions on "rational optimism." Pose them in the comments section below and we'll post the answers next week.