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What makes economics so difficult to learn?

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Why is it so hard to understand macroeconomics?

I see two reasons for this: Those untrained in economics are likely to be confused by its terminology, and by the fact that common words often acquire very precise, but unfamiliar, meanings. Furthermore, laymen are likely to be unfamiliar with the environments and institutions in which basic economic decisions are made.

I suppose that students majoring in economics acquire practical experience by spending some time in business firms, banks, stock market firms, government decision-making agencies, etc. This is probably built into their academic curricula. But a layman, like myself, usually does not have such exposure. My economic experience is limited to salaries, paying for goods and services, taxes, and minimum banking (saving accounts, credit cards, mortgages, etc.). Most people I know are in similar situations.

How can one compensate for this limited exposure? I suppose that some novels do describe the workings of the business world. Such books, however, were not written to educate us. It occurred to me that writers familiar with typical economic environments could help us by describing daily lives of typical business people, in articles, books, or even fictional form.

Technical terms would be introduced gradually and their meaning explained in hypothetical situations. Motivations driving these people, dilemmas they face at work, and examples of successful, or unsuccessful, strategies could be invented. I am thinking about authors who are economists, or who cooperate with economists. What do you think about this suggestion?

Economics is a very important subject. Unfortunately, most people are not familiar with it, even politicians who often talk about economy. What else can be done to improve the situation?


P.S.

Let me share a diagram which describes our overall economic system. The dash arrow, labeled rds, refers to the so-called "safety net"--redistribution of wealth by our government. Let us hope that activities in this area will intensify under the new administration, in order to minimize the devastating effects of our current recession.




A diagram of our macroeconomic system

 

http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.htm

Ludwik Kowalski is a retired physics teacher (Professor emeritus, Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA). He is the author of two recently-published FREE books:

1) "Hell on Earth: Brutality and violence under the Stalinist regime" (more...)
 

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I suspect something else is going on, namely, that... by Robert Hoogenboom on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 4:58:48 AM
I would encourage everyone with a rudimantary gras... by Chrissie B. on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 9:28:25 AM
Crissie wrote: "The game is set up and perpet... by Ludwik Kowalski on Saturday, Mar 14, 2009 at 10:29:23 AM
As an economist, my first rule was to discover who... by Jason Paz on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 1:29:54 AM
Excellent, Jason, explain economics to us from the... by Robert Hoogenboom on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 5:21:49 AM
1) Are you joking or are you serious, Jason? What ... by Ludwik Kowalski on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 10:20:19 AM
I suspect "contraction of demand" here a... by Robert Hoogenboom on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 5:23:16 PM
Suppose a highly knowledgeable economist asks me f... by Ludwik Kowalski on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 7:27:18 PM
Sorry, I was wrong about how the word "demand... by Ludwik Kowalski on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 8:37:48 PM
P.S. And here is another illustration. In everyday... by Ludwik Kowalski on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 9:06:40 PM
Left out of the diagram is the profit motive for t... by Jay Janson on Sunday, Mar 15, 2009 at 9:01:18 PM
Left out of the diagram is the profit motive for t... by Jay Janson on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 12:12:08 AM
Jason is correct; my diagram does not display many... by Ludwik Kowalski on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 11:50:21 AM
In his own article, click here Jason wrote: &quo... by Ludwik Kowalski on Tuesday, Mar 17, 2009 at 4:34:39 PM
You might want to start with the best selling econ... by Scott Baker on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 2:27:54 AM
Let me share something written in my notes last we... by Ludwik Kowalski on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 12:47:37 PM
I read and then read it again, and I didn't unders... by Robert Hoogenboom on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 4:39:43 PM
in the world end to end, they would all point in d... by Richard Girard on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 3:59:43 PM
P.S. According to Marx, profits called "surp... by Ludwik Kowalski on Monday, Mar 16, 2009 at 9:52:11 PM
Take this statement from another OpEdNews article:... by Robert Hoogenboom on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 7:07:29 AM
It occurred to me that all diagrams of economy sho... by Ludwik Kowalski on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 6:06:53 PM
OOPS, I meant the "Firms" box. not the &... by Ludwik Kowalski on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 6:21:52 PM
Unfortunately, our software does not allow picture... by Ludwik Kowalski on Wednesday, Mar 18, 2009 at 8:48:07 PM