Frustration Friday: EconoPolitics and Frustration

Ever want to talk about economic issues like jobs or banks or regulation and not get into politics?  You can't.

Economic issues are political issues because they deal with law and taxes and spending and everything else.  Political policy is economic policy and nothing you can say can change that because society really is an integrated whole, and people get pretty damn political about money.  You cannot separate economics and politics.

Now, if you think of that for a moment, are you surprised that we have tons of unemployed people, ruined economies, and general financial stupidity?

Any corruption, idiocy, and failures in a political system inevitably create financial problems because economics and politics really are the same thing.  If you're wondering why banks are melting down, what happened to home loans, and just where your taxes are going, start looking at political issues.  You'll find dumb politics is dumb economics.

So if you think you can have high-flying discussions of economics and jobs without politics coming into the equation, good luck.  It might happen if you stick with abstract theory, but even then you might find abstract theory gets into . . . abstract politics.  It's awful hard to escape – I think it can't be done.

I think we like to think we can separate politics from economics for a few reasons:

  1. We, especially in America, like to think there's something magical to economics, that somehow we're just a lovely theory away from financial prosperity.  That's delusional, but still, when I hear people talking about how they can bring about economic prosperity, it borders on religious thinking (which is often really, politics).
  2. We hate the fact that a lot of political debates and discussions are dumb, dysfunctional, offensive, and seem to be done by morons.  Sorry, politics isn't separating from economics, so you have to face the morons.
  3. "Politics" is often a dirty word, reflecting ugly decisions, compromises, and more.  Of course you don't deal with an ugly system by avoiding it.

You can't get away from politics when you discuss economics.  Sorry.

So next time you wonder about your failing bank, your lack of a job, financial issues in the Eurozone, and the rest, stop thinking economics.  Start thinking politics, and you'll suddenly get a lot more painfully accurate understanding of why things are the way they are.

Then maybe you can get to fixing things.  Someone's got to . . .

– Steven Savage