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Thread: Here Is The Shortest Economics Textbook Ever

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    Here Is The Shortest Economics Textbook Ever

    1. 95% of economics is common sense

    You don’t need a degree to understand it



    We’ve got this profession wrong; a lot of professional economists think what they do is too difficult for ordinary people. You’d be surprised how often these people are stupid enough to say things, at least in private, like ‘you wouldn’t understand what I do even if I explained it to you’. If you cannot explain it to other people, you have the problem.



    People express strong opinions on all sorts of things despite not having the appropriate expertise: climate change, gay marriage, the Iraq War, nuclear power stations. But when it comes to economic issues, many people are not even interested, not to speak of not having a strong opinion about them. When was the last time you had a debate on the future of the Euro, inequality in China or the American manufacturing industry, despite the fact that these issues can have a huge impact on your life, wherever you live?
    2. Economics is not a science

    Despite what the experts want you to believe, there is more than one way of ‘doing’ economics



    People have been led to believe that, like physics or chemistry, economics is a ‘science’, in which there is only one correct answer to everything; thus non-experts should simply accept the ‘professional consensus’ and stop thinking about it.



    Contrary to what most economists would have you believe, there isn’t just one kind of economics – Neoclassical economics. In fact there are no less than nine different kinds, or schools, as they are often known. And none of these schools can claim superiority over others and still less monopoly over truth.



    I accept that being suddenly asked to taste nine different flavours of ice cream when you had thought that there was only one plain vanilla can be quite overwhelming. In order to help, I attach here a simple table that will help you overcome your initial fear.

    3. Economics is politics
    Economic arguments are often justification for what politicians want to do anyway



    Economics is a political argument. It is not – and can never be – a science.



    Behind every economic policy and corporate action that affect our lives – the minimum wage, outsourcing, social security, food safety, pensions and whatnot – lies some economic theory that either has inspired those actions or, more frequently, is providing justification of what those in power want to do anyway.



    Only when we know that there are different economic theories will we be able to tell those in power that they are wrong to tell us that ‘there is no alternative’ (TINA), as Margaret Thatcher once infamously put it in defence of her controversial policies.

    4. Never trust an economist

    It is one thing not to foresee the financial crisis; it’s another not to have changed anything since



    Most economists were caught completely by surprise by the 2008 global financial crisis. Not only that, they have not been able to come up with decent solutions to the ongoing aftermaths of that crisis.



    Given all this, economics seems to suffer from a serious case of megalomania.



    The financial crisis has been a brutal reminder that we cannot leave our economy to professional economists and other ‘technocrats’. We should all get involved in its management – as active economic citizens.

    5. We have to reclaim economics for the people
    It’s too important to be left to the experts alone



    You should be willing to challenge professional economists (and, yes, that includes me). They do not have a monopoly over the truth, even when it comes to economic matters.



    Like many other things in life – learning to ride a bicycle, learning a new language, or learning to use your new tablet computer – being an active economic citizen gets easier over time, once you overcome the initial difficulties and keep practicing it.



    Unless you are willing and able to challenge the professionals, challenge the experts, what’s the point of having a democracy?



    There is no excuse for complacency. If you organize and demand reforms then a lot of amazing things happen, but it won’t come easy – we have to fight for it.

    And there it is - all you need to know when watching the talking head bloviation and justification day after day...

    Original source:Forget Piketty's 700-Page Tome - Here Is The Shortest Economics Textbook Ever | Zero Hedge
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    slikrapid (21.06.14) , tr-cht-fx-242p (20.06.14)

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    @article:

    1. 95% of economics is common sense
    just because something can be understood through common sense doesn't mean it is common sense to use it (in that particular way)

    People express strong opinions on all sorts of things despite not having the appropriate expertise: climate change, gay marriage, the Iraq War, nuclear power stations. But when it comes to economic issues, many people are not even interested...despite the fact that these issues can have a huge impact on your life, wherever you live?
    here's a more sobering question: what positive impact have all those strong opinions had on steering/changing actual governmental initiatives? you've guessed it: pretty much none - in other words, its not enough to have strong opinions, you have to be able to apply them, otherwise they're just empty words/opinions (not to mention that strong opinions alone are no guarantee of their validity in the first place)

    2. Economics is not a science
    3. Economics is politics
    you think other scientific fields aren't politics? think again
    you think they would stop being so by simply switching to another economics theory/school? think again

    none of these schools can claim superiority over others and still less monopoly over truth.
    see below under: 'real alternatives'
    also, what truth?

    Economic arguments are often justification for what politicians want to do anyway
    well said, but who/what influences those politicians to make such decisions? ideology, powerful interests, indoctrination,...

    Only when we know that there are different economic theories will we be able to tell those in power that they are wrong to tell us that ‘there is no alternative’ (TINA), as Margaret Thatcher once infamously put it in defence of her controversial policies.
    if all major political parties (or all major economic theories or all major corporations or all major ...) are basically navigating towards the same goal, then none of them are real alternatives, just feigned ones - also, if other proper alternatives are marginal players, then they aren't real alternatives (no major impact)

    4. Never trust an economist
    and, yes, that includes me
    ok

    It is one thing not to foresee the financial crisis
    wait a minute, wasn't it common sense to predict the crisis? (note: see the very first quote above)

    Most economists were caught completely by surprise by the 2008 global financial crisis. Not only that, they have not been able to come up with decent solutions to the ongoing aftermaths of that crisis.
    wasn't that already explained by politics & co.? they don't want to investigate the matter (properly) nor solve it (properly)

    we cannot leave our economy to professional economists and other ‘technocrats’. We should all get involved in its management – as active economic citizens.
    see above under: 'sobering question'

    5. We have to reclaim economics for the people
    sounds like something a communist/leftist/liberal would say

    It’s too important to be left to the experts alone
    firstly, its not that important, besides, if it had been set-up properly, it would have been even less important (no major issues, no hype, no big deal, carry on)
    secondly, having experts is fine, though they better be independent, honest, accessible/available, accountable, transparent,...
    thirdly, since when were they solely responsible anyways? didn't we mention politics, ideologies and powerful interests before?

    Like many other things in life – learning to ride a bicycle, learning a new language, or learning to use your new tablet computer – being an active economic citizen gets easier over time, once you overcome the initial difficulties and keep practicing it.
    some knowledge is good, but you can't be 'jack of all trades' and you have to be able to trust others to an extent, otherwise what's the point of a system if you have to do or check every single thing by yourself?
    note: this is not the same as: being able to check or do everything by yourself if you want to do it (ie. having a transparent system overview/insight)

    what’s the point of having a democracy?
    was mentioned before (by the author!): justification for what politicians want to do anyway, among other reasons

    If you organize and demand reforms then a lot of amazing things happen
    which was (surely) advocated more or less loudly ever since early civilizations came into existence, so what happened to all those amazing things? how many decades/centuries/millenia are needed? say, for something as simple (and obvious and common sense) as: 'wait a minute, i think we need to start electing/supporting honest people/parties with some integrity, not those deceiving scumbags all the time'

    finally, as said before, the problem is deeper than that: physically/mentally/spiritually unhealthy people cannot expect to have or build a healthy society (and vice versa, an unhealthy society is not a good place for bringing-up healthy people) - a catch 22? not really, while you still have some control over that aforementioned health in your hands and that is the place to start in order to reach universally desirable effects (immediate improvement personally, positive effects for the whole family/surroundings and proof-of-concept for others if interested), your little oasis within the societal desert so to speak

    in terms of economics: you cannot expect healthy economics in an unhealthy society (this also applies to any other field of human activity, regardless of its perceived level of importance)


    Parable of the Two Birds

    Two birds, beautiful of wings, close companions, cling to one common tree: of the two one eats the sweet fruit of that tree; the other eats not but watches his companion. The self is the bird that sits immersed on the common tree; but because he is not lord he is bewildered and has sorrow. But when he sees that other who is the Lord and the beloved, he knows that all is His greatness and his sorrow passes away from him...

    ...@ en.wikipedia.org Paramatman

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    Blocker (22.06.14)

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    Frankly speaking Economics is not a science its just one tool which has been useful to certain extent and destructive to other,commonsense is the most uncommon thing btw.Everything in life is politics the earlier you realise the better
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