Economics Definition – Economics Is About Making Choices

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What Is Economics Definition?

Economics definition is about making choices. We make all kinds of choices every day. How much should I spend on gas? What’s the best route to work? Where should we go for dinner? Which job or career should I go for? What are the pros and cons of finishing college versus taking a job or inventing the next, best Internet startup? Which roommate should take care of washing the dishes? Can I get that dog as a pet? Should I get married, have children, and if so, when? Which politician should I vote for when they all claim they can improve the economy or make my life better? What is “the economy,” anyway? What if my personal or religious principles conflict with what people tell me is in my best economic interest?

Many people hear the word “economics” and think it is all about money. Economics is not just about money. It is about weighing different choices or alternatives. Some of those important choices involve money, but most do not. Most of your daily, monthly, or life choices have nothing to do with money, yet they are still the subject of economics. For example, your decisions about whether it should be you or your roommate who should be the one to clean up or do the dishes, whether you should spend an hour a week volunteering for a worthy charity or send them a little money via your cell phone, or whether you should take a job so you can help support your siblings or parents or save for your future are all economic decisions. In many cases, money is merely a helpful tool or just a veil, standing in for a partial way to evaluate some of the goals you really care about and how you make choices about those goals.

You might also think economics is all about “economizing” or being efficient–not making foolish or wasteful choices about how you spend or budget your time and money. That is certainly part of what economics is about. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We all know that we can save money or time by being more efficient in our planning. A trip to the supermarket can be coordinated with a trip to take your child to school or to deposit a check at the bank across the street to save on gas. But we sometimes don’t choose the most efficient options. Why not? Economics is also about plumbing the depths of why we sometimes do and sometimes don’t make what seem like the most economizing or economical choices.

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