Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Is economic literacy improving with the economic crisis?

As the economic and eurozone crisis goes on, a number of people have remarked to me that "nobody understands the eurozone anyway". I've heard this before this year "nobody understands the Alternative Vote anyway" Hmmm....

What I'm wondering is economic literacy improving with the economic crisis? I believe the BBC does a good job of explaining terms. But does it get read? Is it still  "boring" or "scary" ? Or is it that nobody understands it so nobody pays any attention to it?

One of my Liberal Democrat colleagues George Kendall wrote this blog to explain the deficit terms in layman's language which I thought was a useful go at the problem. I'd also argue for a degree of complusory economics - at my school we did not have any education on what the government did with our money. It could be thought of as dull but even kids pay VAT on their pocket money purchases!

This is asking for more explanation of Macro, or "large scale" economics - that is what affects whole economies.

Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert is pushing for financial education in schools which is important and I totally back him and the Government has recently responded to his e-petition

Martin Lewis is arguing for infomation that will help understanding of Micro or "small scale" economics - that is which affects individual actors such as firms and households in economies.

In order to make an informed choice at the next general election we need to have the economic judgement to judge the current government on it's merits, instead of screaming about "cuts" incoherently *glares at Labour*

So I argue for a better explanation of the terms we hear every day at the moment, and as dull and dry as it is - this can be helped by relation of large scale problems to household finances, because essentially they are interrelated. 

I would argue that better information makes for better markets, and it follows that better understanding makes for better politics.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Louise,

    I agree with you about Martin Lewis and his campaign for financial education in schools. And sadly, about the lack of economic education.

    Unfortunately, that failing is not just among the voters. A lot of politicians, researchers and journalists don't really understand government finance.

    - George