What is the course about?
Everything revolves around the economy, the diffuse power that rules our lives. We are not going to liberate us if we ignore how the system works. Economics studies human behaviour as we obtain the goods we desire in a world where scarcity exists. It used to be a branch of moral philosophy. Maybe it should still be. Our approach will use ethics and critical thinking, rather than mathematical models, to debunk the myths economics is founded on, and to look behind the metaphors that shape our vision. This will be a beginners’ course to understand what happens when we and fellow humans work, exchange, coordinate with others through markets, consume, and invest.
What will we cover?
We will discuss questions such as the impact of work on the environment, what is wealth, what is money, does trade benefit all parties, is there a purpose to markets, how to assess public policies, the ethics of government intervention and taxation, and more.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
– perceive what is at stake and not always visible in what is called ‘the economy’
– explain to yourself and to others the main economic concepts
– decrypt the jargon of politicians and the media
– participate in the national conversation on economic issues (be at the office and in the pub)
– be a more responsible producer, saver, consumer and voter.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is open to anyone interested in what is happening in the world, without any prior knowledge of economics. No maths, no jargon, and the few necessary technical words will be made plain. If you can read a newspaper, you are able to follow the course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Clear visual presentations and group discussions will enliven each lesson. There will be no homework, but students will receive the slides used in class, with comments, as follow-ups to the lessons..
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. All you need to participate is an open mind, curious about the world we live in, and a willingness to listen to opinions you do not always agree with.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
For other courses on economics, please see the college website: www.citylit.ac.uk.