Even though I was a good student, economics was my nemesis. I passed it, but it was a slow slogging grind, and it didn’t quite stick. And, although I’ve made an effort to learn more about economics since then, every time I try, my eyes seem to glaze over and I find myself nodding off over the book.
It’s not something I’m especially proud of, but at least it keeps me from writing a whole lot of claptrap on the topic.
However, lack of economic acumen doesn’t seem to stop many (probably many on both sides, to be fair) from spouting off on economic subjects. Blogger Dennis the Peasant isn’t too keen on these folks. He is a bona fide tax expert and CPA, as well as being a very funny guy–that’s funny ha-ha, not funny strange. (Oh, well, maybe just a little funny-strange, if you look at his photo–although, come to think of it, who am I to talk on that score?) Dennis takes to task those who write about economic matters while being economically uninformed.
I have a strong feeling that I have a great deal of company in my relative economic illiteracy. I’ve been struck by how many people know enough to get by–keep their bank accounts in order, do a little investing, pay their taxes–but don’t really understand the ramifications of specific proposals designed to affect the ecomony. And yet we need good information in order to make decisions on issues that matter: what to do about the deficit? What about tax cuts vs. tax hikes? Who–if anyone–is right in the battle of the dueling experts? Do they even know? After all, economics is not exactly a science on the order of chemistry or physics. How can the vast majority of us who aren’t tax attorneys or CPAs wade through the vast quantity of information– and misinformation, deliberate or otherwise–out there?
To a certain extent, of course, that’s true of any topic that has technical aspects–which is most topics. But I have a hunch that the subject of economics is a particular sticking point for many, whether they’ll admit it or not.