Monday, September 19, 2016

Economic Illiteracy and Vlogs

I am excited to begin a new SWEET academic year. Based on our first energized meeting, it was apparent that many of you were interested in getting involved in community outreach efforts to teach economic and financial literacy. You also expressed an interest in educational Vlogging. Please read the the articles I have posted for September 21, and watch the video with a critical eye. Please post your thoughts about the articles and the video prior to the meeting this Wednesday.

1 comment:

  1. I am very familiar with the concepts of economics. I started taking economics in high school at an AP level. Since then, I have taken macroeconomics, microeconomics, and am currently enrolled in Sherri’s political economy class. Despite not taking anything above a 200 level class, there are a lot of things that I have learned over the course of these two years. Regardless, I am aware that a majority people are uneducated in this field of study.
    I agree with Lawrence Reed that teaching economics in is not something that should be forced, other than it being unpleasant, it will not always work. I think this is true for high school, not college. Even though mandating economics doesn’t fix the problem, as Sandra Czelusniak addresses, mandating it may be considered necessary, especially due to the fact that “a knowledge of fundamental economics simply isn’t optional these days – nor should it be in college.”
    The reasons behind pursuing an education in this day and age, in my observations, has become less pure. Fewer and fewer people go to school because they want to learn. School becomes more about test scores, and grades. People are incentivized to go to class on a quantitative basis, not out of a desire to learn (for the most part). If society as a whole presented education as something intriguing, rather than a necessity, I think the results would become more successful.
    Every ounce of enjoyment that I get from economics comes from inspiration of others and my thoughts being provoked out of class, but it takes the right instructor. In high school, I had not the best economics teacher. However, the concepts were interesting to me. I cared more about going to class to learn something new, I didn’t necessarily go for my grade (although my grades were and continue to be important to me). The material was still interesting. Learning economics, or any subject, isn’t how many people are teaching it, it is how many people think about it outside of class. It is the reasons that they are going. It is the reasons they want to come back. The government cannot fix this. There is no easy solution, as Reed acknowledges.
    One of the key factors into economics that Reed touches is bias. I think it is fair to say that the video by John Tamny will create a lot of bias opinions and disagreements. Income inequality is a touchy subject for most. John Tamny claims that income inequality “promote personal freedom and rewards hard work, talent, and achievement.” Although I got what he was trying to say, I think there are some unfair verbiage in his claims. Income inequality has both its good intentions and incentives, but Tamny fails to acknowledge the problematic fundamental issues that come along with it.
    In economics class, you learn that true wealth is achieved when you find ways to do things for others, that many others want. By giving to others you are making yourself better off. But vary widely. It is in our human nature to want and want and want. It is the wants that are the most useful, and the most convenient that a majority of the 1% are credited for.
    Who are the 1%? The 1% hold more than one-third of the nation’s wealth, in America’s case. People that Tamny includes in this percentage are entrepreneurs who have made innovations that “once seemed like impossible luxuries available to almost everyone” and who “gamble on new ideas.” I agree with this notion, but I do not believe that everyone in the top 1% are successful entrepreneurs or innovators. But who is making it readily available? Was late Steve Jobs building the iPhones that led him to his wealth? No. Factory workers tend to be underpaid for long and hard work. John Tamny makes valid points throughout his video- I don’t think income inequality is as black and white as he makes it out to be. Such as Reed states there is no quick fix, there is no simple claim.