A few days back, we had a national budget here in Nepal. So, it reminded me of the budget day joke from Twitter.
“Today is the day half of the population becomes Economics expert on twitter”.
I mean, the joke feels funny at first. But when you think deeply about it, it’s actually good that general people are voicing their opinion about Economics, and we should rather be appreciating that!
After all, Economics is a field of study that influences every single person on earth. Be it a person running some Fortune 500 Company in California or some daily wage worker in Nepal, Economics touches upon us all. And yet, when it comes to Economics, most of us are happy to just leave it aside to the experts, and that’s because Economics seems to be filled mostly with complex jargon and complicated math.
But you know what — it’s actually fun to wonder about the economics behind some of the everyday life stuff that we take for granted. For example, take price. How is the “price” of the goods that we buy determined? At first thought, it seems obvious that it should be determined by the “cost” of the materials involved in making it. But then again, why are some paintings deemed more expensive than others? Surely there’s more to it than the cost of material! Maybe the paintings that are expensive are deemed more “valuable”.
But then, what decides the “value”. We often hear the ever-rising debate (and outrage) on “How come these footballers earn way more money than doctors for just kicking a ball!”
Sure, the work done by doctors is more valuable to society. But maybe Economics doesn’t work that way. You can quickly read about the Water-Diamond paradox to understand the paradox of value. Clearly, water is way more important to us than diamonds could ever, and yet diamonds cost fortune in comparison.
While it’s difficult for us to become overnight Economics experts, just reading basic economic theories like the Supply Demand theory can help us reason the above queries. And once you get a gist of Supply Demand theory, even concepts like Marginal Utility feel all normal and common sense, as it is all about why our first slice of pizza tastes way yummier than the fourth!
And finally, there are these bigger political questions that not only divide the world into identities but even bring the entire world to the brink at times! Yes, the ever so debated and contested question of “what form of Economy works the best”: Capitalism, Socialism, or Communism.
It is with Economics that we answer — or at least understand more — about our daily lives and world. Therefore, while it’s okay to leave the jargon and the equations to the experts, it’s important that we all understand some of the basics related to Economics.
In fact, I will tell you a small secret about Economics that we should all be aware of. That Economics is actually the study of how to run our home.
Yes, you read that right! Well, if you don’t trust me, you can just google the origin of the word. The word Economics comes from the Greek Word Oikonomia where Oikos means household and Nomus means law or principle. And we all agree that it’s not only important but imperative that we learn how to run our home!