“COMMON SENSE ECONOMICS”
Living in the “City of Man(kind)”, we ALL SHARE COLLECTIVE experiences and certain economic conditions, interactions, exchanges, experiences, attitudes, goals and aspirations. Material “mammon” is an undeniable part of our human “condition”. Being “CREATURES”, we all as “animals” have PHYSICAL needs we all must address (food, water, shelter, transportation, etc.)
Being “CITIZENS”, we are all what Aristotle termed “POLITICAL animals” (inhabitants of the “polis” city-state). We are paradoxically individuals forced to SHARE. Economics involve the COMMON GIVE and TAKE of PHYSICAL material goods and the POLITICAL means we go about getting our physical needs and wants met.
Economics impact us ALL in the political, social, cultural, religious spheres of OUR lives, from “cradle to grave”. These include “ISSUES” such as “prosperity” [vs poverty], security-protection, belonging-community, activity-self-improvement, knowledge-education, life styles-culture. “FACTS” and “FEELINGS” intersect and collide in the physical and political realms of “reality” in our “common” world of economics. Economics is BOTH PHYSICAL “science” (NATURE) and “POLITICAL science”. (HUMAN NATURE)
Individual economics extend expand into COMMON, collective needs for water (dams, irrigation), food (farms, restaurants) and shelter (housing, sewage) and transportation (cars, roads, boats, fleets) and “security” (retirement, national military security). Our common economic experiences include the “PRIVATE” – employment, health care, investment, “insurance”, entertainment, recreation, “retirement”, AND the “PUBLIC” – government, social programs, national security, etc.) The economic spheres of PRIVATE and PUBLIC “INTERSECT” to form our COMMON experience[s].
Economics operate by certain “LAWS”. “Sense” comes from an understanding of these laws and how they operate in physical “nature”. These laws are fixed and unchanging in the CONCRETE REALITY of the MATERIAL WORLD of “nature”. Examples include supply and demand, scarcity, costs, economies of scale, etc.
“Sense” also is sourced in certain economic “PRINCIPALS”, a mix of ABSTRACT IDEALS which transfer into the CONCRETE REALITY of the MATERIAL world. (e.g. productivity should be rewarded, people respond to positive incentives, individuals are guided by self-interest, values: no one should expect “something” for “nothing”, culture-life styles: individual humans have “rights”, an inherent, in-born desire for “life, liberty, [economic] property and/or the “pursuit of happiness”). Principles involve variations which are not so much “fixed” but FLUCTUATE within a definable spectrum of possibilities. “COMMON SENSE” seeks ACTION based on an understanding and application of PRINCIPLES, PRACTICES informed with PURPOSE in a concrete/abstract world.
IGNORING basic economic laws and principals leads to COLLECTIVE NON-SENSE.
Human nature often ignores and seeks to “interfere” foolishly with “nature”. What we “need” and what we “want” often are confused and result in conflict. A “SENSE” approach is based on observable OBJECTIVITY in a theoretically ‘SUBJECTIVE” world. FACTS vs FEELINGS – a “COMMON SENSE” approach is based on empirical observations on what works, NOT how one FEELS economics might or should work.
“The first lesson of ECONOMICS is SCARCITY: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of POLITICS is to DISREGARD the first lesson of economics.” – Thomas Sowell