ECONOMICS – In One Uneasy Lesson: It is often difficult to reconcile the stark contrast between reports that the economy is improving and/or performing well, and those suggesting that the growing condition of poverty is reaching a crisis stage.
Some explain the contrast using the “one per cent” theory. They argue that the economy is doing well for the one percent, but not for the rest. There’s a grain of truth to that statistic, but not in the sense intended. Once understood, it is simply not a cause for concern.
For many attempting to keep from becoming part of the poverty statistics, it is the intricacies and challenges of finding a job, establishing a career, or embarking upon a new financial venture that is the real concern. These concerns simply cannot be reflected in economic/political statistics or theories – no matter how accurate or valid.
The theoretically accurate principles of economics can be taught in one simple lesson, as Henry Hazlitt demonstrated in his 1946 economic masterpiece, Economics in One Lesson, a lesson that was easily expressed in two to three pages.
Unfortunately, it is a lesson that has been routinely ignored by politicians throughout the ages, replaced by the spawning of theories that reflect a desire to live without individual effort or responsibility.
It is often argued, perhaps with reason, that the economy of today is nothing like the economy of fifty years ago. But it still operates on the same principles, as it did in ancient times. The “law” of supply and demand is not a man-made law, anymore than is the “law” of gravity. One either chooses to “obey” those “laws” and reap the reward, or to defy them and pay the penalty.
But beyond these economic principles, other economic principles are at play, principles not about supply and demand or about efficiencies or profit and loss measurements. They relate to personal relationships in the economy – encompassing issues like differences in ability, creativity, and talent – to the contentious issues surrounding gender and men and women sharing the same work environment.
It’s a discussion rarely heard, and can make some feel uneasy. In an economic world of natural and healthy inequality, the political world that demands equality is more often than not in conflict with the working principles of economics – at every level.
It is from the point of view of that personal experience that we re-examine our study of ECONOMICS – In One Uneasy Lesson.
With the added wisdom and insights of Professors Jordan Peterson and Thomas Sowell, it’s a lesson that’s bound to be Just Right.