[Noisebridge-discuss] economics

Ryan Rawson ryanobjc at gmail.com
Tue Nov 22 02:07:07 UTC 2011

A few things, first off - China doesnt own all of the US debt, it only
owns 8% US government debt.

Now back to economics, there are a few different views of what
economics is, and this is probably why you were confused about

Generally speaking there is "microeconomics" and "macroeconomics".

The former is more about things like 'supply and demand curve', etc.
This is the study of why products/companies/etc work or fail.  This is
where terms like 'inelastic demand' is bandied about.  Graphs of
supply and demand, with optimal price curves, etc. Most econ101
classes cover this topic.  It is not very controversial.

Macroeconomics is more about the workings of the entire economy.
Things like monetary policy, banking policy, bonds, stock markets,
flow of money, central bank policies, etc are covered here.  Things
get a bit more controversial, and there are several 'schools' which
argue about the correct way to run an economy and the role of
government in said economy.  The Chicago, Austrian, Keynesian and
other schools of thought are common

As an analogy, microeconomics is more like physics and math, and
macroeconomics is more like biology.  The analogy I apt I think
because the study of entire economies is challenged by the simple fact
that you cannot easily run experiments, and there are multiple factors
and methods of actions occurring at the same time. Not to mention
political interference with results and measurement in various ways.
For example, a common measure of inflation excludes energy (oil) and
food - because they change too fast.  So policies that use this
measure of inflation as an indicator of how much more people must pay
are inherently flawed since everyone pays for energy and food.

I feel like the thought that economics is 'too complex' to understand
is more a function of the competing noise in the marketplace of ideas
than any inherently difficult concepts. Some things must be measured
in a statistical manner, but this is no different than boyle's law.

On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 5:23 PM, Brian Morris <cymraegish at gmail.com> wrote:
> Would enjoy discussion within personal time constraints
> On 11/21/11, Olya K <krasnykh at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Everyone, thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming along with any
>> opinions/etc.
>> I'm a biologist and economics (much like politics) has always scared me b/c
>> of the "complicated" lingo
>> I tried to take an Economics 101 class but was largely disappointed (not
>> sure why, now that I think about it.. should have been clear from the get
>> go that i'll learn nothing truthful/useful in a 101 class taught at your
>> "average" school) with the supply-demand model and the free-market economy
>> as the optimal model <-- made very little sense to me
>> Needless to say, Im happy to know that the reason much of what I've heard
>> on the topic of oureconomy never made much sense for a good reason. Because
>> it DOESNT make sense. So that's why I'm reaching out for sources. So I can
>> understand where exactly we are at the present and what kinds of ideas are
>> floating around in terms of what should be the long-term sustainable
>> solution.
>> If anyone is interested in getting together to talk about these things on a
>> world-wide level, I'd love that. Maybe after Turkey weekend?
>> Olya
>> On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 4:35 PM, Anthony C. Roberts <
>> anthony.c.roberts at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Along these same lines, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston publishes some
>>> terrific educational materials.  I would suggest perhaps starting with
>>> http://www.bos.frb.org/education/pubs/wishes.pdf
>>> Warmest regards,
>>> Tony
>>> On Nov 21, 2011, at 3:48 PM, Joseph Brenner wrote:
>>> Olya K <krasnykh at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Does anyone know of a good online course in economics/macroeconomics?
>>> Over at Paul Krugman's blog:
>>>  http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/
>>> He has a box on the right labeled:
>>>  "Some links to stuff I’ve written bearing on macroeconomic policy. "
>>> I'd suggest starting there.
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