I picked a book

I picked a book to read for the class.  It’s “What’s the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It’s Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness”What's the Economy For, Anyway?: Why It's Time to Stop Chasing Growth and Start Pursuing Happiness

So why did I pick it?  Well, it helps that in the intro it says it’s “funny, readable, and thought provoking”.  I’m honestly a little worried some of the books are going to be really dull reads based on how they are reviewed.  Since we get to chose the books we read, I thought it would be good to pick one that captures my attention.

The second reason?  That’s because looking at the reviews, it also seems to have really strong content.  It’s not a choice of entertainment value over content, from what I”m reading, this seems to have both.  With any luck, I’ll be posting that I made the right choice in the near future.

Unit 3 – Initial Impression

It’s becoming pretty clear that with each post I’m going to be changing my views from the posts before.

I had no idea that so much of the world depended on the U.S. dollar, and to be honest it’s a little frightening.   While we’ve touched on it, I want to learn a little more about that.  Why is the U.S. dollar so valuable, and how can it have so many people relying on it?

Communism is starting to sound more like a distant future, utopia type of economy, and not the dark ages of failed systems, and military rule that it used to seem like.  It might yet one day make a good system, but it sounds like we have to have a pretty advanced world, not just a nation to make it function as it was designed.

I’ve still got some more reading to do, hopefully I’ll find some more info.

Well… Didn’t see that coming.

So I’ve been through the readings for unit 2, and honestly, my whole concept was off as to the idea of what the different economic systems were.  The first lesson here was pretty eye opening.

Econ

First lesson I took from this, is to forget everything about economics that is taught to me by the news, or political debates.  There are bits of truth in those discussions, but most of what I’ve learned through that type of conversation is bias, not anything factual.  I’m starting from a clean slate now, and more interested that I was before.

The first concept that I understand here is my idea of money isn’t what it should be.  It’s simply a system of rationing.  You earn your rations, and get to chose how you consume it, but essentially, it’s there so you can’t consume without limits.   I’ve never considered it from that point of view, but it makes a lot of sense.

Now I’ve just got to get through the concepts of all these different systems, and especially the downfalls of our most prominent systems.  I’ve been taught for a long time about how strong our system was, but somehow never connected the idea that our system is the cause of the fairly regular recessions/depressions that occur.  That’s not to say 3 weeks in to my first econ class that I have any better ideas, but I can attribute some weaknesses to what currently exists, and not just chalk those things up to bad luck.

 

Unit 2, my first take

So after a bit of a slow start, I’ve read the Unit 2 posting for this class and I’m starting to get really enthusiastic about it.  It seems more like this is a class about how the human world works, as opposed to just comparing economic systems.

On that note, it could be I’ve been looking at economic systems with too narrow of a focus.  I’d never considered how an economic system is built by a society, instead of just a people chosing how they want to run their economy.  It always seemed to be to be something chosen by leaders, not developed from the society that it serves.