Readers of The New Yorker presumably find this amusing.
To an economist, this actually seems like a good idea.
Reading Proust may deliver some benefits, but it’s an investment. If it makes more sense to pay someone to do it for you, then you probably should.
English professors may object to that. But I’d point out that they’re paying their students with grades rather than cash, and that the notional difference between those is bigger than the actual difference. I’m sure most of them would gladly pay an economist to read Smith or Mill for them, although I think both of them may have been better writers than Proust.
FWIW: Yes, I have read Proust (back when they used to call it Remembrance of Things Past). It was OK, but it’s not a classic that I’d recommend. And no, I didn’t read it in the original. It is long, but not ridiculously so: lots of people have read Donaldson’s three Thomas Covenant series, and that runs to perhaps a thousand pages more (I’m just finishing it up).
This is kind of a classic cartoon. I was unable to figure out when it was originally published (and I promise I spend tens of seconds looking on the google).