Welcome to my first economics blog. You would think that writing a blog would be a rather simple task given that I have recently written and published an economics textbook and yet I still find myself indecisively trying to filter through the endless possibilities of topics that could appeal to readers. As we look around there are so many issues that can only be understood through the eyes of an economist that it is hard to know where to start. Should I write about the cause and widespread effects of low petrol prices? Or about the volatile economic situation in Europe with Greek and Spanish people fiercely resisting the austerity measures imposed on them in recent years? Perhaps it would be interesting to explore the economics behind the conflict in Ukraine, or the tons of other ongoing economic issues surrounding sustainability, poverty etc.
The world as we know it revolves around economic principles, and there will always be interesting and often controversial issues to explore. That is why I love economics, understanding its most basic and core principles opens up a new way of looking at the world. As economists we question the things around us by looking at all of the factors, possible outcomes, and make decisions in a rational and thought out way. Right now you are probably thinking, these economist guys sound pretty smart, pity I’m not one of them; but the economists I’m talking about aren't just those with a fancy piece of paper from a university labeling them qualified economists, I’m talking about all of us who think with an open mind and take a rational approach to the problems faced in our day to day lives, as both individuals and members of a society.
The study of Economics is about how we use our limited resources to make us better off. This means that economists look at far more than GDP, Interest rates, and business cycles; it means that every day you wake up you make a countless number of economic decisions. Should you walk to school and save your money, or take the bus and save time? What should you purchase when you are at the canteen? Should you spend your lunch time walking around, playing sport, or doing your homework? An economist doesn't just trust their intuition when answering these questions; they think about all of the costs and benefits of each alternative and make a rational decision that is likely to lead to the most favorable outcome.
‘But hang on a second, I kind of do that already!’
Yes my friend, you have been an undercover economist all along; and the more you wear your economic thinking hat, the better off you will be.