Why Good Economics Matters Now More Than Ever

By Jp Cortez

In a newsletter published in 1970, economist Murray Rothbard wrote, “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”

This is an oft-quoted platitude within circles of libertarian philosophy and Austrian economics.

Today, we are seeing the embodiment of Rothbard’s fears. The woeful state of economic understanding has reached a critical mass. Economics has taken a back seat to issues deemed more important. What’s worse is that when economics is discussed, millennials tend to lean socialist.

I have a vested interest in seeing economics and sound money flourish as I work in the field. Yes, I believe that tying a nation’s currency to gold keeps government spending in check. This is hardly professional bias though, as we all have a vested interest in seeing economics and sound money championed, many just don’t recognize it. This piece is aimed at anyone with a vested interest in maintaining a standard of living higher than that of the depression-era breadline vagabond. Economics transcends race, gender, and political identification.

Let’s begin by examining the first of two reasons that good economics is paramount.

Good Economics Is Important Because We Are Seeing a Rise in Bad Economics

Despite the corruption and backhanded actions of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign to win the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders experienced a meteoric rise reminiscent to that of Ron Paul’s, whose 2008 presidential campaign trained his supporters’ focus on economics. Paul championed policies in the spirit of economists that I personally revere: Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and Nobel Prize Laureate Friedrich Hayek, among others.

Bernie Sanders’s 2016 campaign had an equal but opposite effect. From teenagers to senior citizens, many loved Sanders’s critique of the broken system that favors the wealthy and stifles the poor. His “solutions” are abysmal, yet despite the countless examples of current (and more importantly, collapsed) socialist-Marxist/Leninist calamities, a self-described socialist found a foothold in the United States.

The revolution inspired by Sanders is anti-intellectual. The “economics” that stemmed out of the Sanders campaign was not economics at all. His school of economics was built on people shouting about their feelings and promoting egalitarianism for the sake of egalitarianism.

Good economics is grounded in axiomatic truths and empirical facts about the world around us. Sound money keeps governments and central banks (called the Federal Reserve in the US) from endless money printing and devastating inflation. Yes, that means the government won’t be able to provide every service that one desires. That is a good thing. Government is the bastion of inefficiency and the epitome of waste. Strictly from an economics standpoint, the market is far better suited at providing products and services.

The espousal of socialist policies in economics is dangerous and irresponsible. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much intellectual firepower to write off socialism as wildly inefficient. But it does take some. Socialism falls apart quickly when one understands the economic calculation problem, which explains the importance of prices based in subjective value in a free market system and explains how centrally planned economies, devoid of market prices, are doomed to suffer from inefficiencies in the form of widespread shortages and surpluses. Without these rudimentary economic blocks, “free college, health care for everyone, and massive taxation on the 1 percent to pay for these policies” sounds desirable.

We must learn, though. We must strive for intellectual growth. We must take the lessons we’ve learned from history and apply them to the word we live in today: socialism does not work. Socialism kills. (Even Scandinavian socialism isn’t as great as socialists say it is).

Socialism has been proven to be a terrible economic policy repeatedly. At some point, the value of human lives outweighs the desire for a politician to conduct a social experiment on how quickly he or she can rid their country of any and all valuable resources. That point is now. We must understand that socialism is an exercise in futility and inefficiency. Understanding good economics kills off the allure of central planning that continues to be peddled by politicians on the left. In fairness, understanding good economics helps wade past the bad economics posited by the right as well.

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For a multitude of reasons, it’s a good idea to take a politician’s statements with grains of salt. As far as economics goes, economist Thomas Sowell said it better than I ever could.

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.

Sound economics based in sound money policies make it possible to eat reasonably priced meals because inflation tends to be lower in countries that practice these policies. Sound money policies make enacting socialist policies difficult. Understanding fundamental economics is the linchpin to cultivating an environment conducive to having meaningful debate on other social issues. Which brings us to the second reason why economics is crucial.

Economics Is the Most Important Social Issue of Our Time

We should start by understanding that economics is a social issue. In fact, economics is the social issue. No issue influences individuals (read: all the individuals) within a society more than its economic practices.

Living in the United States in 2017 means exposure to all sorts of social issues including – but not limited to – same sex marriage, police brutality, safe spaces, drug legalization, and firearms ownership. To be sure, these issues are important and should be examined with sober eyes. But the issue of economics supersedes this list and every other list.

I believe consenting individuals should be allowed to do whatever their hearts desire so long as they aren’t violating the rights of another. I stand in solidarity with those who favor legalized same-sex marriages. I stand with those who want to see marijuana legalized nationwide and those who want to own automatic weapons.

But herein lies the danger of ignoring economics at the expense of other issues: Being “allowed” to smoke marijuana legally seems insignificant when a loaf of bread costs a month’s salary and your loved ones are dying of starvation, doesn’t it? I concede the subjective nature of this evaluation, but if I had to choose between the legality of same sex marriages and economic stability, I would choose economic stability without pause. Not because I don’t value personal freedom to do as one wishes, but because I understand that with economic stability comes the ability to fight another day for other issues.

Brazil, according to Bloomberg, was the second-worst economic performer of 2016. The other side of the coin is more uplifting: Brazil recognizes same-sex unions; allows same-sex marriages; allows adoptions by same-sex couples; allows individuals who identify as LGBT to serve in the military; and so on. Brazil’s removal of the proverbial shackles on homosexuals to live as they see fit is a big win for personal liberty, undoubtedly.

But one can’t help but wonder if the married same-sex couple in Brazil suffering from the terrible economic policies enacted by their country thinks, “13.2 percent of our entire country’s population is unemployed. That’s close to what the US faced between 1930-1931 as the Great Depression destroyed their economy. We can’t afford to feed ourselves or our family and we’re subjected to danger and crime as others are desperate to obtain food and money. But hey, at least the government recognizes our marriage!”

Greece is another example of the result of poor economic policies. Riots and crippling tax hikes to pay for irresponsible economic policies are commonplace in Greece, but hey, at least small amounts of cannabis have been decriminalized, right?

I don’t mean to belittle the importance of issues such as these. But as millennials, as members of the citizenry, and as people with a stake in the economic health of the nation we inhabit, our efforts are often misplaced. Sound economic policies should be pursued with at least the same amount of fervor as the myriad issues that don’t potentially end in economic collapse, death, crime, and general hysteria.

America finds itself on the cusp of revolution, but not necessarily the kind you might imagine. The revolution we are headed towards is an intellectual one. Good economics lies at the heart of this revolution.

Without good economics, we are powerless against the abuses of the Federal Reserve, the central bank that intentionally devalues the money in your bank account while it finances foreign wars and domestic programs that the government wouldn’t have the means to pay for otherwise. Without good economics, we are defenseless against the bad economic policies that lead to extreme levels of pillaging that socialists lovingly refer to as taxation. Without good economics, we subject ourselves to tangible, real-life danger and lose the opportunity to bring about the changes we wish to see.

Jp Cortez is the assistant director of the Sound Money Defense League, an organization working to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money. Follow him on Twitter, @JpCortez27.


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3 Comments on "Why Good Economics Matters Now More Than Ever"

  1. We have seen how the Establishment Puppet Media in France has been Biased against the Patriotic Candidate who is Marine Le Pen, and the Establishment Puppet French Media will try to deceive French Voters by calling some of the Policies of Marine Le Pen as far right, but a policy is a policy, and Discerning Voters will examine a policy on its merits, rather than the label placed on it, by Biased Deceitful Self Interested Opponents.

    This is why People in France are using Talk Back Radio, and Social Media, and they are Talking to Fellow Citizens on Election Issues for this Election, including the following important matters.

    France’s standing and reputation in Europe, and the World, and to the French Overseas Territories are affected by matters regarding the Person of the President.

    There are some French People who may Not be aware of these things, but Most People of other Countries are aware of these things, and there are Many French People who want a President who has a fine reputation.

    The story we have heard regarding Emmanuel Macron is that he met his wife who is 25 years older than him, when he was 15 years of age, and Macron was under the age of consent which is 18 years of age for a situation as a teacher and a student, and it is Undisputed that she was married to another man that she divorced 15 years after she first met with the 15 year old Emmanuel Macron, and at the time, Macron’s wife was Macron’s Teacher working at a Private School with a daughter of hers of the same age as Macron, and who was in the same class as Macron.

    While Many of those things are Verified Facts; there is one thing that we do Not know for sure, and that is if there actually was a physical relationship between Macron and the woman who he says is his wife, because we were Not there, and it has been alleged that Macron could be Secretly Homosexual, and that because of those allegations there are People who think that his marriage is not a real marriage, but is a cover for that, and for Macron’s wife to have an affair with the young Macron for over a decade before divorcing her husband of 32 years, sounds odd or suspicious, and there are People who think that if it were true, then it sounds cheap and perverted, regardless of the shine that others may try to put on it, and French Voters want Honest Politicians who will be faithful to the French People, and Macron’s wife was Unfaithful to her her first husband if that the entire story is true, and Macron assisted her in that Dishonorable affair.

    Those who understand things Know that we Should Not believe everything we hear or read, and Macron is from a Rich Family and he has a University Education to earn a High Salary from that Education, and so it would appear that he would have Easily found a woman of his own age, unless he is not interested in women, and Perhaps Macron has been Secretly Filmed in some Perverted Act, and is being Blackmailed by Germany or the French Establishment, and it Should be kept in mind that Honesty with the Voters, and Ability to Serve the Interests of the French People are the issues with regards to these matters, because the Establishment or Foreigners like to have the Dirt on People to make them their Puppets, and there are Many French Voters who think that Marine Le Pen is Honest, and that she is a Respectable Representative of the French People.

    There is something also of Great Concern to Europeans, and that is the European Union Army.

    There are Many Europeans who have seen that there are Several Problems with the European Union.

    This is why Many Europeans Know that the European Union Needs some Essential reforms or the European Union will Collapse, and the British understand this, and that is Why they Voted for Brexit.

    Macron is an Establishment Puppet, and if he speaks of making Necessary reforms, then we can be Certain that he is Lying and putting on an Act, and the British Voters do Not trust anyone other than Marine Le Pen to be their Ally in France for Brexit Lite for Britain to be a second tier Member of the European Union, who would have more independence, along with shared Obligations under Brexit lite for Britain, because they have seen the European Union become in some regards like the Soviet Union.

    The European Union was meant to keep Germany from Dominating Europe, and the European Union has Failed in that regard.

    NATO was meant to keep Europe from being invaded, but NATO has conducted Illegal and Immoral Wars which has resulted in Europe being invaded by Refugees, and Marine Le Pen does Not want NATO to conduct Illegal and Immoral Wars that result in Europe being invaded by Refugees.

    Germany wants to Conquer Europe again, and they want to use the Refugees as part of their Fourth Reich Army, and to Also use the European Union Army to Conquer Europe.

    We should Not be surprised if it was Germany who Subtly and Cunningly Deceived or Bribed American Politicians to cause the Refugee crisis that Germany would use for their Fourth Reich Army.

    People think that if the Establishment Emmanuel Macron becomes President then he would be a Puppet of Germany, and the Establishment Macron would be another Establishment Francois Hollande Despite All Lies to the contrary, and the Establishment Francois Hollande did Not seek reelection because his Policies have Only a 5 % approval rating, and yet Hollande endorsed Macron.

    Britain Voted to leave the European Union, and they Know that Marine Le Pen is a mild reformer who is Best placed to make the few Essential reforms in the European Union so that Britain can rejoin the European Union, because Marine Le Pen wants Britain in the European Union.

    There are People wondering if Macron has been Secretly Filmed in some Perverted act when he was a young teenager, or since then, and that perhaps he is now Germany’s Puppet.

    The French People believe in Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, and for the sake of Liberty then France must Not become a Puppet in a European Union that resembles the former Soviet Union.

    There are Many French Voters who think that for sake of Equality, then it is time that France had its First Female President, and they do Not want another failed Establishment Puppet like Hollande or Sakozy, or the Establishment’s Macron, but they want Marine Le Pen to be the President of France.

    For the sake of Fraternity, then the French People want Friendship and Support for All French People to prevent Germany from Conquering Europe again, and this is Why Marine Le Pen will be the Friend of All European Countries, but she will Not be Germany’s enemy or Germany’s Puppet by giving over France’s Military to Germany to Control the French Military and Lying and Untrustworthy Macron would Dishonor France.

    We have seen how France under Hollande has Lied with regards to Syria, and this has created Many Syrian Refugees, and the Establishment Macron would continue Lie on Syria if he became President, because Germany wants to use Refugees as their Fourth Reich Army to Conquer Europe after Germany acquires Control of France’s Military.

    There are a few Europeans who think that Germany does not want to Conquer Europe again, but that is what People said of Germany after WW 1, and we Know that Germany Deceived Europe.

    The Syrian Government has asked the Syrian Refugees to return home, and has asked the European Union to help those Refugees to return home to Rebuild Syria.

    Many French Voters Know that France Cannot wait 5 years to have a Honest, Patriotic, and Competent President, because if Macron Usurps the Presidency with the help of the Bribed and Corrupt Treasonous Puppet French Mainstream Media, then it will be too Difficult for France to recover, and France will have a Hard Frexit, Regardless of who becomes President in the Election after this one in 2022, because the European Union will have Collapsed, and it would have been Conquered by Germany, because the Necessary reforms for France and the European Union would Not be implemented by a Puppet, Incompetent, and Unpatriotic Macron, and this is Why there are Many French Voters, who Understand Why they Will be Voting for Marine Le Pen for President of France.

    This is why there are Many British Voters who think if the Lying and Untrustworthy Establishment Macron becomes France’s President, then they will Vote for the British Conservative Party at their Election.

  2. Currently reading The Road to Ruin by James Rickards. It is too complex for me. His quote: “In this book, I write as a theorist using complexity theory, Bayesian statistics and behavorial psychology to study economics. … This book also uses one other device—history.” …

  3. Maybe its time for new economic models, both systems are seriously flawed. I know the science of greed doesn’t work.

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