What do people do with their wages every week, or month; and if they are unemployed, their dole money? They each economise. How much does the rent, or mortgage cost? Shoes for the kids, car, repairs, bills – how do we budget weekly, monthly, year to year
The above are some of the thoughts that go through the average person’s head when making decisions on how to budget their income and resources. This is what we do almost every day of our lives. We attempt as best we can to balance our life-style with our income – particularly if we are unemployed. We are happy usually if we can attain the result Dickens, describes. But on too many occasions and for so many people the result can be “misery”. This is perhaps why we find economics so “boring”. The fact that we look for so little in return for so much of our toil; and the reward and worth of our endeavour is always determined by the judgments of others. This, along with the fact the general public are not encouraged much to involve themselves with such seemingly complex ideas such as economics.
If we started to look at an economic system that was framed in our interests we would soon discover economics is not “boring” nor as complex as the experts would have us think. There are alternatives:
“Parecon” is short for participatory economics which is the name of an economic system designed to challenge capitalism. Parecon’s institutions are designed to enhance solidarity, diversity, equity, and self management, while they produce and distribute economic products to meet needs and develop potentials.
“Economics is involved with an understanding of the behaviour of models and many of these models have no relation to any state of nature that has ever existed on this planet, or any that is likely to exist between now and doomsday. The word that comes to my mind when confronted by these fantasies is fraud.” F.E. Banks
In a finite resourced world we can’t escape the importance of economics and the understanding of economic structures and alternative options that are open to us. Leaving it to the experts is no longer an option.