Letter: Learning economics is vital as a citizen

Published: Sunday, Sept. 9 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

The most boring of the boring is economic news. While studious types may not agree with that assessment, the vast majority of people likely find themselves nodding in agreement.

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Real news is boring. That's why television news is largely feel-good or sensational. Viewers are often more interested in Hollywood scandals and sometimes even political ones as long as they involve adultery or corruption.

Probably the most boring of the boring is economic news. That can be blamed on its nature of being, as Thomas Carlyle called it, the "dismal science." While studious types may not agree with that assessment, the vast majority of people likely find themselves nodding in agreement.

Yet, as Thomas Jefferson wisely said, "The cornerstone of democracy rests on the foundation of an educated electorate." Gary Stern of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis added, "Economic literacy is crucial because it is a measure of whether people understand the forces that significantly affect the quality of their lives."

What percentage of Americans can tell you the key hallmarks of Keynesian, neoclassical, Marxist or Austrian economics? What percentage even cares? And what are or what will be the consequences of such illiteracy? I suspect we're living them now.

Steven Earl Yorgason

Sandy

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