Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Required reading at the academy...

All you Trekkie IR's will remember all of those works of literature that were "Required reading at the academy." Usually a way for Kirk or Picard or whoever to say that "This character you've never heard of is a Big Deal and/or Very Smart." Well, after my very brief study of economics (aka 3 pop-econ books and starting to read an intro text book) I've decided that Economics should be required reading at the academy. Any academy.

You have no idea how weird it is for me to write this post. I never thought I'd be even interested in economics, much less saying it's important knowledge more people need to have. But the more I've read the more I've come to see that so much of what you hear talked about in the news, debated in the media, and especially argued about in the government is directly tied to economics! On an obvious level that's because we're in a capitalist society that is built around the production, acquisition, and distribution of wealth but on a more basic level it's because the production, maximization, and apportionment of resources is one of the main tasks of a society and hence a government. This is true in any society. Remember a while back I was ranting about people ranting about taxes? I said that we should all care deeply about taxes because they are a means of the government (aka the people) implementing its will? Well fiscal and monetary policy is exactly like that, only more so! And I just had no idea how it really worked. And I still don't, not really, but I'm learning enough to know that if you want to have some understanding about almost any issue going on in society you need to have at least a smattering of economics.

So I may, from time to time, blog a bit about econ (or I may not - there's lots of other stuff I find very important or fascinating I don't blog about, believe it or not) but when I do I'll try to explain why it matters. And I'll try to make it make sense, at least as much as I can understand it myself. Consider yourselves warned, dear IR's. Econ may be coming.

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