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>> No. 6135 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 12:07 am
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Why isn't Economics a mandatory subject at Key Stage 3 and 4 yet? Everyone in the UK is by definition a part of the economy, and I would say that having a knowledge of how it works and your place in it is essential in today's society.

It could start off by talking about personal finance - things like basic budgeting, the myriad of options for personal banking, how loans and mortgages work. From here, pupils could be taught about the finances of small to large businesses, and the ways this differs from that of an individual. Finally, pupils would be given an overview of the macroeconomic principles of how many businesses and individuals interact in markets, and how domestic markets form part of the international picture.

Looking back on my pre- A-level education, all this stuff seems like a pretty gaping hole. A large part of my personal knowledge comes from having business-minded parents but not everyone has that privilege, and knowing how to budget and save are apparently skills severely lacking in today's society. I'm aware that a fraction of personal finance is taught in mathematics, but it is a very small fraction and one that would surely be better split-off so that maths itself can be about maths and not simply numerics with a pound-sign in front of it.
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>> No. 6136 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 12:12 am
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Less essential than the things already mentioned, but introducing pupils to the basics of game theory probably wouldn't be a bad idea either. Get them to think about the decisions people make as individuals and the consequences of these from a collective sense. Introduce them via the prisoner's dilemma and go from there.

Would be a lot more interesting and useful than reading fucking Beowulf, that's for sure.
>> No. 6137 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 12:49 am
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Saving is not good for the economy.
>> No. 6138 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 12:08 pm
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I present Exhibit A on why we need better Economics education in this country.
>> No. 6139 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 12:37 pm
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From what I've heard about economic studies, all they do is present you with a series of nice concise mathematical models, which are completely detached from reality. After all, what scientific model can reliably account for all of the factors at play where the system is broadly defined as "everything that happens with money and some stuff that isn't money"?

It goes a long way towards explaining why no economics scholars are able to agree on anything, and why finance types continue to fuck national and international economies to oblivion.

Signed, bloke down the pub who has never opened a book on economics.
>> No. 6140 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 12:47 pm
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There's a well known saying about modelling. "All models are wrong, but some are useful."
>> No. 6141 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 12:52 pm
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This is true, but it also absolutely flies in the face of how economics is generally discussed as though it were objective politics or a hard science.

Don't even get me started on that fuckwit that wrote Freakonomics.
>> No. 6142 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 1:02 pm
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You could make the exact same argument about science though - all of science is just a series of mathematical models that are able to predict with some certainty what happens in the universe we live in. However, there are no exact models of anything more complicated than a single hydrogen atom in an otherwise empty universe - anything remotely approaching the complexity of the physics, chemistry, biology etc. we experience on Earth are largely empirical models (i.e. measurements of the effects of variable x on y), and once you get into broader sciences such as environmental science, psychology and sociology all bets are off.

Because of the similarities, it is often debated whether economics, or at least parts of it, is itself a science - there's a fairly good article on the subject here: https://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2013/nov/06/is-economics-a-science-robert-shiller

My point in all this, is that teaching Economics doesn't fundamentally have to be less rigorous than the teaching of sciences, for example. Also, as we're talking about secondary school here, the mathematical models would of course need to be kept to the very minimum with most of the emphasis placed on giving an overview of the qualitative aspects of the subject, as well as practical information on managing personal finances.
>> No. 6143 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 1:11 pm
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Well there's a scale of reliability in terms of models depending on the scientific ability to isolate particular phenomena. This is why we have laboratories, it's to reduce the number of variables in order for you to make more informed observations about the nature of an occurance. Economics is a science in some ways and more like mass psychology in others, since it's all about perception.

Economics is valuable, regardless. What OP is talking about is finance though which is a different beast altogether and really has little to do with economics on a personal level.
>> No. 6144 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 1:23 pm
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The main problem I have with economics isn't that the models are inaccurate, it's that the models are implemented by financiers and politicians who have zero appreciation for their context as nice but ultimately useless mathematical formulae. These people cherry-pick the economics models that fit their agenda, sing them as gospel and subsequently refuse to acknowledge any evidence or alternative models that prove them wrong.

It's not the science itself, but the people who misuse it. Now that I think about it, this is a good argument in OP's favour. People won't see through the bullshit unless they are taught to.
>> No. 6145 Anonymous
18th May 2016
Wednesday 1:40 pm
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I get what you're saying, but really only in particular sciences such as terrestrial physics, chemistry, materials science and cell biology can phenomena be practically isolated in a lab. Once you get to say evolutionary biology, environmental science, geology, astrophysics, cosmology or parts of sociology phenomena cannot be isolated in this way, yet they are for the most part still considered sciences because they follow the scientific method.

Fundamentally, the argument over whether economics is a science or not depends on how it is approached - if it is approached using the scientific method, it is by definition a science. If it is approached in other ways, it isn't.
>> No. 6217 Anonymous
24th December 2016
Saturday 8:42 pm
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I did a GCSE in economics and have since discovered that most of it was total bollocks. Economics is little more than numerical theology, and anyone who disagrees is the economic equivalent of the religious cunts in this video.

>> No. 6218 Anonymous
24th December 2016
Saturday 8:48 pm
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Yes. Good,
>> No. 6236 Anonymous
30th March 2017
Thursday 12:20 am
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My brother has a PhD in economics from the top-ranked Econ department in the country (last time I checked).

In America it's mandatory for anyone in business/engineering and I think mathematics.
What's interesting about Econ to me is how quickly it gets extremely mathematical. It's cool, uses a ton of theoretical math that no one besides physicists care to use. But for that reason I don't think it should be taught to everyone. Technical concepts ain't everyone's bag and it can get misconstrued (like it often is in my country).
I think statistics would be a much more worthwhile subject to make mandatory for everyone and I don't know why it's not. Econometrics is just statistics after all, so i think it would help people interpret information much more wisely.

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