About the Blog

ECONOMICS.  Mere mention of the word brings about glazed eyes.  And what about moral hazards or creative destruction?  To some I might as well be speaking in tongues.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Rest assured, you know a lot more about economics than you think.

The self-proclaimed intellectual elites count on our puzzled reaction to economic debate.  Many people just shrug their shoulders and assume politicians and media figures know what they’re talking about.  But is there a field where you have some expertise?  How often do politicians or the media sound intelligent when they discuss your specialty?  I suspect the answer is RARELY.  If so, what makes you think their batting average is any better with respect to economics?

When you hear an acknowledged expert talk about chemistry, you’re unlikely to challenge her conclusions.  Chemistry is a hard science:  if you combine two chemicals in a certain ratio under defined conditions, you know the compound that results.

But don’t think about economics this way.  It’s not so straightforward.  Ignore dictionary definitions.  The essence of economics is about how people and groups respond to different motivations.  And it’s about acknowledging tradeoffs:  doing one thing precludes you from doing certain other things. Businesses and wealthy individuals generally do what makes sense for them.  So do you…I hope.  This is rational self-interest.  It works.  But there’s a rub.

Government policies can have a dramatic impact on what makes sense…often in a negative way.    By understanding and thinking about how proposed policies will affect our motivation, we should make better decisions about what we support.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  My articles on No Sweat Economics are not the final word.  I have my biases.  You’re bound to notice a reliance on free market solutions.  There are various schools of economic thought, often with greatly divergent viewpoints.  Intelligent people may disagree with me on policy.  But there are many commonsense truths that no rational person should deny. By recognizing some of these truths, we can stop politicians from doing some really stupid things in our names.

My goal with No Sweat Economics is to get more people thinking about and debating economic issues.  To that end, I strongly encourage feedback.  Let me know where you agree, and where I’ve gone astray.  Or just post questions and comments to work through your own thoughts.  When you take me to task, don’t forget to make your point with facts and/or logic.

I want No Sweat Economics to do what www.JunkScience.com did for me:  by explaining some basics about scientific research and epidemiology, that site gave me insight into the flaws of “science by press release.”  I have nothing to offer the genome project, but often I can spot weaknesses in the overhyped claims of study results.  This is important, as retracted and debunked studies never seem to get the same publicity as the original junk.  If you can develop a similar B.S. detector for economics, I’ve done my job.  I’m convinced that if more people considered basic economics, politicians wouldn’t get away with most of their stupid, vote-buying policy prescriptions.

Tod Ginnis, Financial Communications Expert
“Helping Wall Street Speak to Main Street”