Why You Should Take Economics

Sydney White – Afternoon Course (Aparicio) Honorbound

I have always been interested in understanding how the world and people around me function, and how I fit into all of it. Through all the schooling, traveling, and experiences I’ve had so far, I thought I had a pretty solid amount of knowledge that would allow me to navigate my life accordingly. However, upon starting my first macroeconomics class, I realized that I still have much to learn.

As of 2017, only 17 states require that all high school students in public school take an economics course.[1] To an average student like me, that seems like pretty good news. Before starting my macroeconomics course, I believed economics to be a dismal and boring science, full of complicated math and complex terms. What I failed to realize was that economics is a social science, something that normally I’m very interested in, and that it offered me something that my history, morality, and philosophy courses had not: the answer to how and why people function. Economics centers around the belief that “individuals seek to maximize their own utility, which is a similar concept to happiness, only broader.”[2] Economics offers a whole new lens to view the world through, one that make it more concise and easy to understand. By studying the everyday transactions of regular people, a deep insight into what drives us is revealed. And while it sounds dark, it was a relief to find out that we all only strive to personally thrive. Before this class, I was used to trying to understand the world through the multitude of theologies and philosophies out there, which is a very complex and confusing way to do that. With so many different values and beliefs, which ones were the right ones? Was there even a correct way to live? That’s why economics makes sense. It cuts through the complex questions and gives a simple, universal answer. By learning more about how an economy works, the more you and can learn about society and ultimately yourself. “Economy is the art of making the most of life,”[3] and therefore “economics is the study of how we do that.”[4]

Before taking this course, I was confident I knew enough about the world and how to act accordingly. However, it was only until taking macroeconomics did I even learn what a government subsidy was. I have come to realize I am ignorant to so many things. Economics something that greatly determines how all of us live our lives, and by understanding it, you can wield power over your own.

 

 

[1] “Survey of the States and the Progression of Economic Education.” Council for Economic Education. Accessed June 19, 2017. http://councilforeconed.org/policy-and-advocacy/survey-of-the-states/.

[2] Charles Wheelan, Naked economics: Undressing the Dismal Science (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010), 6

[3] Gary Becker

[4] Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics, 6

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