• EconAfterHours

Economics, Economics Everywhere

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Economics is, and never was, entirely about theory. It’s about life: it’s about facts (hard to swallow) and challenges (harder to accept). In studying Economics, we embrace the reality of scarcity – being fully aware of its dynamics and consequences. In studying it, we are exposed to the possibilities. Economics is a double-edged knowledge: both a gift and a liability. Inasmuch as Atlas was said to have been carrying the globe over his shoulders all this time, it is an imperative, not just for economists but other members of the academy as a whole, to carry the burden of providing answers and solutions to their nation’s set of dilemmas. Day in and day out people make economic choices on many categories in life and most of the decision-making begins at home. What shampoo to use? What type of refrigerator to invest in? Buy a Plasma TV, or a regular one? Spend millions on a sports car or buy a smart car? The list goes on. These many little decisions, insignificant as they seem, have an impact on the overall economy. It may not be obvious to the normal person but through the trained eyes of an economist, these details come to life. Every day in my life is a hodgepodge of various experiences as I stroll around the world of Economics. Everywhere I go, Economic concepts abound, as if Economics is my guardian angel. My day starts from the moment my alarm clock strikes 6:30AM. My class starts at 8:40 so I leave home at 7:30 so as to not get late for class. The extra time that I keep on my hands is for the likely traffic on the roads. Also, I sometimes go to sleep late at night so when my alarm clock rings at 6:30, I always snooze for a while before finally waking up. While eating breakfast, two thoughts cross my mind. First, I think about the opportunity cost of having woken up on time. I worry that I might get stuck in traffic and might be late for class. Second, I look at my breakfast of scrambled eggs and think about how lucky I am that I am still able to eat despite scarce food resources that make millions of people in the world hungry. I take a shower for 15 minutes and use another 15 minutes to dress up and head to my car. Just as expected, there is a traffic jam. While waiting for the cars to move, some posters full of vandalism catch my attention. I then get frustrated at the desecration of these public goods. However, I notice the reparation of drainages and roads as I move further.I then feel relieved on seeing these efforts by the Government for improving our public goods. I just want that people are more informed and responsible for these public goods as they are used by everyone. Finally, I reach College and quickly go to my class. After our first lecture is over, my friends and I go to the cafeteria. Shreya wants to buy a new phone and we help her in deciding which phone to buy. She is confused between an iPhone 5c and a Samsung S5. Anubhuti, Sharon and Akanksha also give their own opinions and preferences. Again, Economics courses through my mind. I then think about the different tastes and preferences of my friends and rationally deliberate on the fact, which will give her optimum results, given her budget constraints. Thus, I suggest Shreya to go ahead with buying an iPhone because of the wide variety of applications that it supports which will increase her productivity. Then we attend another lecture and the bell rings again, for lunch. On deciding which food to buy, I am torn between my cravings for a burger versus a rice meal worth the same amount. I know that I can’t just buy everything I want because of the fact that I have a fixed pocket money, thus I again apply economics and think which food will give me greater satisfaction for the same amount. Finally, I decide to buy the rice meal. However, the foregone option of the burger still lingers in my mind. I just decide to buy it on another day. The bell rings again and it’s class time for me. On my way home, I notice that my car is low on petrol. I then go to the nearest gas station to fill up my tank. While waiting for the loading to finish, I notice that there are a few gas boys in the gas station compared to the many cars and gas vending machines around. Another idea crosses my mind that if the management added a few more gas boys, then the gas station will be able to be more productive in their gas filling and this will bring them more customers to serve. I notice that there are only a few liters that were filled and my petrol gauge barely went up. I am then reminded what my teacher said in class about the OPEC countries being responsible for controlling the supply of petroleum which was why the prices went up and I got only a little petrol for what I paid for. Also the price elasticity of demand is quite inelastic for petroleum, so even if its price rises, I still have to gas up nevertheless, so I return home barely satisfied. The rest of my day continues until it is about time for me to go to sleep. I then say my prayers and thank the Lord for the great day I have had and for my knowledge of economics for without it, I wouldn’t have had a day more aware and smarter. Indeed, economics is applicable and is a powerful tool in understanding the world we live in. We can’t help but think of our economy and how it’s affecting our lives each day, especially in this globalizing world. It’s really impossible to discard Economics even for the man who knows nothing of it because, while he’s ignorant of Economics, it continually knocks on his door until he notices it. Every decision we make has an application of Economics in it for Economics is based on the rational reasoning of humans. We really can’t escape Economics for we live in its realm. Therefore, since that is the case, the next best thing is to embrace Economics and use it to our advantage.

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