Do You Remember Anything From Your Economics Classes

Discussion in 'Economy' started by BakshisMouse, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. BakshisMouse
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    BakshisMouse BANNED

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    I'm asking this because I'm just now taking Economics in school, and it intriques me. There are things to economics that just don't get played in the mass media, like inflationary gaps versus recessionary gaps, or the difference between monetary policy and fiscal policy. Like I said, I've just starting to learn, so I don't now a lot about it.

    I just wanted to ask the people here if they took economics in school, and if they did, what do they remember?
     
  2. william the wie
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    william the wie Gold Member

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    That very little of macro-economics as now constructed is worth anything. And the problem areas are both known and understood:

    The horizon of predictability (the length of time the models are good for) seems to have a limit of 90 days and after that butterfly effects screw everything up. That is much too short of a time frame to make sensible monetary, fiscal or tax policy. By using different approaches: age related spending is my favorite but there are many other possible inputs; less accurate but more useful policy predictions can be made.

    Of the four parts of the basic GDP equation macro-economics concentrates on G and C because government spending and consumption are much easier to jigger than X-M and NI. However the drivers of long term GDP growth are exports-imports, savings, product life cycles and other things macro-economics generally does not address.
     
  3. expat_panama
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    expat_panama Silver Member

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    Fantastic class, you'll love it! You might want to ignore posts like this one--
    --except to note how his never having taken the class didn't stop him from having strong opinions aginast it.

    My major was engineering and my econ was general ed. The joke was that smart students majored in physics, those that couldn't hack it switched to engineering, and them that couldn't even do engineering transferred to business. Ten years later the business grads were making twice as much money as the engineers that earned twice as much as the physics grads.

    I too have retired from engineering and am full time in finance with my econ text book at my fingertips.
     
  4. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    FDR saved America from Capitalism.
     
  5. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    FDR rescued America from the Great Depression!
     
  6. BakshisMouse
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    Fair enough, but what about models like the Phillip's Curve, Production Possibilities Frontier, and Aggregate Supply and Demand? Aren't those still relevant?
     
  7. Sheldon
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    Sheldon Senior Member

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    Sort of. I remember the basics. S&D, marginal utility, diminishing returns, price elasticity. But without google I'd be completely clueless about half the stuff in this subforum.

    Kind of OT, but I wish my econ class in high school would have focused more on personal finance (401K, mortgages, amortization, simple versus compound interest, Roth IRAs, deductions, etc) because most of that stuff has hit me in the back of the head at 100mph since I graduated.
     
  8. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I took economics in HS and I think 12 hours in college? I loved the course work but that was back in the time when schools were still educating and not sociopolitical engineering. So, there was no political ideology obscuring the points being made and no prejudices or biases built into the lesson plans.

    I don't remember all of it all these decades later, but I did get a good basic education in the concepts of free markets, optimum pricing, the law of supply and demand, effect of tax policy and subsidies, etc. that have stuck with me.

    It was a good enough education to help me usually discern who is doing political spin and who is talking real economics. I know that everybody with a PhD after his name isn't worth listening to but there are some brilliant minds to learn from still.
     
  9. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Economics and Finance Major and I can say that virtually all of what I learned in college was a waste. Read Berkshire Hathaway Annual report, there's more business sense in any 2 of them then in any 30 college courses
     
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  10. Baruch Menachem
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    The Phillips curve is not supposed to move. The fact it does means it is irrelevant. It is not supposed to change shape either, but tell that to someone from Brazil or Zimbabwe, where it has a negative slope.

    Basically I remember that everything happens at the margin. And understanding the margin is the hardest part of the class.

    I just remember all the professors being very liberal, and starting with really stupid simplifying assumptions that took you through the looking glass.

    I also remember we used Samuelson's textbook. Man was a colossal bore and was addicted to graphs that were various levels of dishonest.
     

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