In 2011, a study was conducted by J. Brian O’Roark and William C. Wood that found that when it came to discussing (and eventually voting on) topics like the minimum wage, “members who majored in economics…were less likely to vote for the minimum wage increase than their colleagues. No other major had a consistent influence.”
It is interesting to consider this theory that ideas that Congress comes up with as a whole may not even be supported by the ones that are trained in that particular sphere. This is especially truth with handling economic policy like taxes, wages, tariffs, and the like.
The truth of the matter is that most politicians that support flawed changes to our economic system are likely not skilled in understanding or communicating the reason for the change. Rather, they simply stand as puppets for those that supposedly know how economics works. While advice is certainly a welcome help, following such instructions blindly can only lead to disaster.
Many leaders not very adept at learning about complex economic principles and communicating the rationale of their policy decisions. Perhaps the reason for this is that the theoretical world of economics is somehow conflicting with the pragmatic pursuit of politics. The reality is that many politicians just simply do not know or do not care about how various economic principles operate within the purview of their profession.
The issue is that economics and studying the language of markets is critical to run any political system. Markets are the backbone of any society. If someone is running a government structure and is not literate in how various policies like tax reform, tariffs, and other issues affect these markets, there can be damaging effects. Economic literacy is a key ingredient to establishing good policy.
Imagine how effective the government would be if most of our leaders were economically wise with their decisions and were able to communicate that wisdom with clarity and poise. The current situation is quite alarming, especially on the federal level, as politicians make decisions and spend money without any fiscal restraint as to how they might impact the economy and individuals down the road.
Economic literacy in the political sphere cannot inherently be achieved by some government policy. Rather, it is up to voters to elect leaders that are fiscally wise and understand the repercussions of their actions.
In fact, if good economic policy is what people want, there’s no better policy than allowing the free market to just grow the economy on itself through Reaganite trickle-down economics. The economy will boom if government just stands out of the way. That does not take any rocket science.