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Should I Talk About the Economy?

Economies are really interesting to me. The sheer number of moving parts, the intricate partnerships, the realpolitik, it’s all great. But the math! The math of large economies is beautiful. Economics graph human emotion.

What do I mean by that? Well, it’s no secret that the whims of market economies are heavily based on confidence: how the public at large feels about companies, industries, and the economy itself as a whole. And yet, we’re able to describe that base human emotion in numbers, on a grand, country-wide scale, and then make predictions based on those numbers in order to grow. That is incredibly cool, and a really interesting subject. I’d love to talk about it. I’d love even more to learn more about it.

However, it’s also one of the most divisive topics on the internet. I’m not sure how that happened; discussion of fiscal policy should not make this many people’s heads catch on fire. It’s just not in the normal person’s purview, and it takes a lot of time and reading in order to really understand. Red Team/Blue Team politics have made your local restaurant line cook have insanely strong opinions on the tax code implications on solar panel companies. It’s, quite frankly, weird. It shouldn’t be this way. Somehow, AM radio and cable news networks found a way to make economics interesting to the common man, and I think they did that by removing all the intricacies, and just telling us what to think.

So, I don’t really want to talk about how Trump is going to bring jobs back (He won’t, because that’s not how jobs work), and I don’t want to talk about how Bush or Obama or Clinton caused the 2008 crash (They didn’t, at least not directly). There’s not a ton of use in blaming political figures for economic distress: they all tend to do what they think is the right move, given the situation and the input from advisers they have at the time. They do not have magic 8 balls, they can only plan so far into the future. And really, the only thing they can really do to change anything is instill confidence in the system, in whatever way the public needs at the time. There’s that human emotion again, popping up where we least expect it.

But I would love to talk about how jobs are created (really interesting!), or diving into misconceptions about taxes (no, you can’t take home less money by getting a raise, in 99.999% of cases), or even discussing the basics of US economic policy and how it relates to its diplomatic and military interventions in other countries (stability is the name of the game). Talking about deficit and debt at scale is really interesting.

But what I don’t want to hear is political talking points if I write things you disagree with (or even agree with). Talking points are filler: They are tailored to shut down rational discussion of policy; to say “no, you’re wrong”, without taking the time to figure out why. If you heard it on Rush Limbaugh or MSNBC, it’s probably shortsighted, and you probably haven’t actually thought about far reaching implications. Those shows are entertainment: they are structured to be fed to the lowest common denominator. You’re not that, are you?

So I guess the question is in the title. Should I write about this? I haven’t decided.

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