Why study economics – the “official” government view

The Philippine government website has an answer to the question of why we should study economics.  It comes in the form of a Q and A, the Q from a visitor to the site, and the A from a “Dr. Econ” who says, in (essential) part that we should study economics to increase GDP, and that:

Increasing the gross domestic product is not just a numbers game. Higher incomes mean good food, warm houses, and hot water. They mean safe drinking water and inoculations against the perennial plagues of humanity.”

I pondered this answer no end.  It seems that human happiness in the Philippines is based on food (and it better be “good”), shelter, water, and inoculations! Why we would want “warm” houses in the tropics is beyond me. Why Dr. Econ seems to want to dictate what we should do with our incomes is also a “teaching economics” mystery. For example, why not increase income so we can spend more on education?  At least that goal has a clear stamp of approval from the 1987 Constitution.

The sad part of all this is that I stumbled on the above by googling “teaching economics in the Philippines.”

There are much better reasons why students should want to get into economics.  See my earlier post based on the views of Prof. David Colander.


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