What is economics exactly?
According to Merriam-Webster, economics is:
a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
But when you look to academia to get an understanding of what economics is really all about, economists can’t seem to agree.
The University of Buffalo provides the best example that ranks the highest in a Google search. They state:
Economics is the study of scarcity and its implications for the use of resources, production of goods and services, growth of production and welfare over time, and a great variety of other complex issues of vital concern to society.
Meanwhile, the economics department at Harvard argues that economics is an oracle that can provide solutions to myriad problems in the world:
Economics helps provide answers for some of the world’s most pressing questions, from the future of work to ending global poverty to improving the environment.
And if you’re looking for the University of Chicago to help you understand what economics is, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a working definition on their website. To do so, you’ll have to sift through copious amounts of ideological, political, and methodological jargon first.
Modern-day economics is practiced as a series of policy decisions on how to manage the supply of financial resources. This is done at the federal level with regard to inflation, but it’s also done within companies to forecast consumer sentiment and manage expectations in the quarters ahead.
Depending on who you ask, economics is about resource allocation, solving social problems, and public policy. This is what economics might have become and how we interpret it today, but it isn’t what economics fundamentally is.
Economics is a series of immutable laws that govern the world. Just like physics.
It’s about the competition for resources because resources are scarce. It’s recognizing that there are finite limits to growth and consumption.
What many modern-day economists fail to do is define how competition arises and how…