Politics And Economics Are As Important As STEM
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Politics And Economics Are As Important As STEM

Why you should care about politics and economics.

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Politics And Economics Are As Important As STEM

It's common for people to come to the conclusion that politics, economics, and the humanities are questionable fields. Not useful. Not productive. Jobless. Nonsense.

I concede none of those points. In fact, I frequently find that politics and economics are extremely important to well-being and prosperity.

The stigma against political science is far stronger than that against economics. This opinion is likely because of the scientific and mathematical elements contained within economics as a discipline. Moreover, the economy is an important part of society. It affects our daily lives. It discusses our wealth, our country's performance, and the country's overall state of affairs. But most would argue that economics can't stand beside chemistry, biology, or engineering. That perspective demonstrates two things:

1) lack of critical thought, and

2) mob mentality.

The intersection of political science and economics determines everything. The world spins on the market. The market is undoubtedly influenced by government actors, politicians, politics. Don't believe me? Let's consider an example.

The stock market had expanded rapidly in the 1920s, but stocks were being overvalued. Companies were not actually worth their stock market value in the real world. People really wanted stocks, so demand was high — but this wasn't an accurate representation of how companies were performing. Investors began to realize this and started to sell overpriced stocks left and right.

Eventually, it became clear that investors were uncertain. Trades were being made at rapid rates, but the investors were selling stocks for cheaper than they had been purchased. Sixteen million shares were traded in one day. Everyone was losing money.

So naturally, consumer confidence declined. People stopped spending. They were afraid of losing money. This dramatic decrease in spending and investment led to companies producing less. Spending and demand went down, and subsequently supply went down as well. Companies stopped producing as much as they had been because they weren't selling as much as they had been. As a result, people were laid off. Households were losing jobs -- they were losing cash, causing spending to decline even further. So more people were laid off. You can see the vicious cycle. At one point, half of the United States' banks failed. Fifteen million Americans were unemployed. The world was in the midst of an economic disaster.

This situation is commonly referred to as the Great Depression. It went on for 15 years.

This is what economics studies. It analyzes, attempts to anticipate and hopefully, prevents these situations. Where does politics fit in?

Obviously, the government tried to respond to the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the president at the time. He passed a variety of policies to stimulate the economy. Yet the Great Depression continued until WWII. In fact, two UCLA economists concluded that FDR's policies prolonged the Depression by several years.

It's unimportant whether they are right or not. What is important is that the economic policy by Roosevelt (and Congress) certainly had an impact on the country's economy. In fact, it was the reason some people may or may not have had enough money to eat. It was the reason that people may or may not have had jobs. It was the reason people could or could not afford homes.

To argue that the intersection of politics and economics is a useless study would be out of touch. Economics and politics create or destroy the world we live in. The next time you're told that they don't, ask the person what would happen if the demand for STEM labor fell.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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