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Louis DeBx

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Should economics be a mandatory class since elementary school?

In the most (maybe all) societies economics is one of the key logic that shapes social relationships, should we share the understanding of how the world works with them?

Since our youngest age, we are full of questions of how and why things work in a certain way. The economic system is a reality in which we live; should children given tools to understand it?

I believe that the fundamentals knowledge can be understood by young children. Supply and demand, market, risk understanding are finally very simple if they are introduce properly. Children hear of economics situation in math problems, geography, history, in literature readings and so o, without any formal class. Lack of understanding creates stress and lack of confidence in society.

Is elementary school to early?


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    wen yu

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    Dec 18 2011: I think that it is economy, rather than economics the key logic that shapes our society, affects our living standards and reshapes our connection with other people. It's true that anyone without a clear idea on how the economy runs might be confused hindered and even be manipulated.
    If you look closely, economic is more a deductive discipline other than a inductive science. It is not that clear whether the kinds will understand the economy by learning economics. However, there're many easy-to-deal assumptions which have terrible ethic implication.
    We shall know that although Adams Smiths advocates labor diversion (a kind of cooperation) in the Wealth of Nations, the mainstream economics focuses much more on the "fantastic insight": selfish egoists are directed by the "invisible hand" and can achieve social optima by follow the voice of their greed.
    Nowadays most of the traditional models we can see are derived from the dismal assumptions like: everyone concerns only about their self-interest and working causes dis-utility. It is true that more and more economist turn their focus on human side, they are introducing trust, altruism and cooperation in their works. Yet, as there is a great inertia and those new models are much more complex, many are too complex to have any definition result, the assumption that man are selfish is in the mainstream.
    Although Friedman argues that assumption does not matter, if it delivers a right result, yet, I am not that sure, whether teaching economics in elementary level will cause ethic problems.
    There is very interesting paper to share with you: "Do Economists Make Bad Citizens" in The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1996.

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