But that's what happened when top US economist Joseph Stiglitz visited Holyrood.
We have heard before how some people may be persuaded to vote one way or another in the independence referendum if it could be shown they would be better or worse off to the tune of £500.
We have also heard the claims from the SNP, and disputed by those opposed to independence, that, with freedom, Scotland would be the 6th richest country in the world, given the GDP figures and our share of North Sea oil.
According to figures for the top ranking GDP countries just now, that would mean around £40,000 per head of population, an increase of a few thousand on the UK figures.
Sounds great, but Professor Stiglitz's comments should make us all pause and ask ourselves some serious questions about these statistics.
Who has all this wealth, and why – if we are only talking about changing which city we are governed from – do we assume it will be distributed any more fairly?
We could expect to have more money invested in public services, in health and education, but will it make any real difference to the amount of cash ordinary people have at their disposal?
As the Professor pointed out, the US economy, the largest in the world and one of the richest in terms of GDP per head of population, is not exactly the most equal when it comes to personal wealth.
The wealth of the richest – the so-called super rich – both here and in the States has increased while the earnings of the average worker and family has not changed in decades.
So while Scotland may have the potential to be the 6th richest nation in the world, don't expect it to mean an automatic end to poverty and inequality.
The problems, especially in Glasgow, are so entrenched they will take years to overcome, and, depending on where resources are allocated, could possibly get worse before they improve.
In a debate that is too often characterised by quotes from observers and experts used selectively and thrown back and forth, and statistics traded like a game of Top Trumps, the Nobel Prize winner brought the debate back to what it could mean for ordinary people.
The UK is a very rich country, and with the available resources could do much more to alleviate and eradicate poverty, but doesn't.
The question is, would the richest in society be prepared to give up some of their wealth and contribute towards a more equal society, or would an independent Scotland be prepared to take the bull by the horns and force them?