Econo-missed covers missed opportunities both to defuse mainstream economic arguments and to join economic conversations. Most people, especially on the left, do not understand much about mainstream economics even though politicians, policy makers, and administrators often use its norms and logic to structure parts of our economic lives. In order to create an economic system that supports everyone, we will have to radically change how the economy functions. While some argue that spending time trying to understand mainstream economics gives credence to a discourse with tools and norms stacked against progressive values, the left should argue along multiple fronts. Gaining an understanding of mainstream economics allows individuals and communities to see how certain decisions are justified. This knowledge makes it possible to undermine the justification both from within the logic of the discourse and from outside of it.
The goal is to help people on the left engage with individuals and institutions that use mainstream economics. If you have a question about mainstream economics or have had an experience when someone made an economic argument that you struggled to respond to while running a campaign, reading the news, or having a conversation, please share it here. My responses attempt to explain the argument accessibly before both describing ways to counter it within the logic of mainstream economics and from outside of that discourse.
A few asides about the advice column: first, mainstream economics is just one useful knowledge. There are countless useful knowledges that take work to develop, and everyone does not need to learn mainstream economics. That being said, the left would benefit from more people being able to engage in conversations that mainstream economics tends to dominates. Furthermore, significantly prioritizing the study of mainstream economics at the expense of other useful ways of thinking or types of knowledge is dangerous. What you study shapes how you interpret the world around you. It should also be obvious that gaining a better understanding of mainstream economics does nothing to create change on its own. The left must organize.
Finally, this blog also provides a platform to publish economic analysis unrelated to the advice column. Any constructive feedback is greatly appreciated.