Why should I care about economics?

Posted: February 10, 2014 in 1. Intro to Economics?
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Whether you like it or not you are impacted by and participate in economic decisions on a daily basis. Whenever you purchase or sell anything you are participating in an economy. Also most of the decisions made by governments today are underpinned by economic thinking and analysis.

The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.
John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

Economics is a powerful tool that can be used by and profoundly impacts individuals, businesses and countries.  Elections can be won or lost on economic issues.  A political party’s ability to demonstrate that they are better at managing the economy can be the deciding factor in democratic elections.

It is the responsibility of each individual to understand and engage with economic issues on a daily basis.  However economic issues and theory are complex, largely because economic systems are human systems, and are primarily concerned with the interactions between individuals.

The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

There are 2 sayings that emphasise the complexity of economics and its application:

  1. If you ask 5 economists a question you will get 6 different answers; and
  2. The answer to many economic question is “It depends.”

While economics can be complex it can be understood. Keep asking questions and testing everything. I hope to present basic economic theory in an accessible/usable way. I will discuss issues associated with the whole economy and the interactions between individuals. In my next post I will begin discussing the dominant economic systems.


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