Friday, September 17, 2010

Economic Illiteracy

I found this website,, that rates colleges based on their academic requirements. They choose seven topics that they think are important for students to learn and grade colleges according to how many they require... Composition, Literature, Foreign Language, US History, Economics, Mathematics and Science.

Out of the 719 schools that they rated, only 25 required their students to learn economics!!!! To keep this in perspective, the next most neglected topics were U.S. History with 140 schools, and Literature with 159 schools.

Now, I am not saying that it isn't useful to be able to quote a Robert Frost poem once in a while or be able to pick out Shakespeare quotes from our favorite movies, but really?! Isn't economics slightly more useful in everyday life than literature?!

People often do not realize just how important economic literacy is. Perhaps if we had higher levels of economic literacy, this whole economic crash could have been avoided!!! Dare I say that having high levels of economic literacy is slightly more important for society than a good knowledge of Shakespeare... nothing against Shakespeare, but he has a very limited sphere of influence over the daily on-goings of our lives and the mechanics of our society.

John Maynard Keynes, the economist behind most of our politics for the last century, wrote, "The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence are usually the slaves of some defunct economist."

Disclaimer... please do not take my quoting John Maynard Keynes as an endorsement of his economic theories, because in truth, I think he's an asshole.

Here is an article I came across while researching for this blog post, from my good friend John Stossel. I have seen him on TV, like, ten times. We're real tight....

The most interesting college by far I found on is Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, California. They do not use textbooks, but rather "Great Books". They do not lecture, but rather discuss. I want to go there!!! They require all seven subjects and are one of the few schools that received an 'A' rating.

We are all Keynesians Now
A look at the membership of the 111th Congress shows that out of 435 representatives and 100 senators, not one of them is an economist. None… but you have plenty of lawyers (168 in the House and 57 in the Senate.) That should give you an idea of their expertise on economic issues.

1 comment:

  1. ,,,kind of makes you scratch your head...if we're not teaching the new workforce about econimics...or the history of economics...are we just going to keep spinning in this cycle??.......c.