My Philosophical Opposition to Econ Classes and Why They Need to be Taught Much Differently at Seattle University

This is not a critique of the two Econ teachers I’ve had while at SU. They were both highly talented, intelligent, dedicated, and caring teachers. That being said, I find a major problem with the way that economics is taught in school. Economics is passed off as a science and “natural” when it is neither. It’s passed off as the “way of the world”, though it’s simply that way because the world has been forced into this position after centuries of indoctrination and propaganda. It is passed off as an infallible measure of how people will react, when economics is almost completely controlled by marketing. Economics is also passed off as this begin, arbitrary study of the way of the world, when it is merely the study of capitalism. This, and nothing more.

Economics is 100% depended ant on people acting a particular manner. The moment someone acts in a way contrary to the “laws” of economics, all economic theories come up wanting. That’s not how science works. True science, such as biology, physics, and mathematics are not depending on how humans choose to act. Scientific laws are not beholden to human desires, as is economics. At best, economics might be considered an applied science, but in truth it functions more like astrology than astronomy. For instance, if the entire world was trained from birth that astrology was true and we should all act in a manner that causes our astrological signs to be more accurate, then astrology could be used to make predictions, just as economics is used today.

In addition, the fact that nearly 20% of the USA’s GDP is spent on marketing is almost completely overlooked in economics classes. These trillions of dollars are spent to manipulate the markets, thereby skewing every aspect of economics, thereby making the hypothetical situations taught in classes meaningless. In order to give a realist, valid picture of the world’s economic structure, this massive amount of money spent to trick people into wanting things they don’t want needs to be brought up on the first day of class and reinforced throughout the quarter.

Lastly, as economics is merely the study of capitalism, it is by definition antihumanitarian. Capitalism is built and dependent on a divided class structure, with winners and losers. Charity is anathema to capitalism, which seems to fly in the face of SU’s mission. If one practices charity, they’re not practicing capitalism and vice-versa. As capitalism has been the unquestionably most domineering force around the globe over the past several hundred years, one only need look around to see true results of a capitalistic dominated society.

In order for SU to stay true to its mission statement and give students a accurate picture of the world, we must consider changing the way Economics is taught at this institution. Economics is not a science, it’s not neutral, and it’s not immutable. Without the constant beratement from birth on the boons of capitalisms, and thus economics, the system would begin to crumble.

Joe Richter, Public Affairs