“At Economy, we want our content to encourage people to think through all the nuances and implications of their opinions and decisions, in the hope that it helps them develop a deeper interest and connection to their world, their political systems, and their economies.”
Economics is a complex discipline. The international economy has a massive impact on the way we live. And it is sensible for citizens to take an interest in the subject. The emergence of protectionism in the UK has cast a long shadow over our society, while the development of counterproductive economic policy under President Trump has shown just how important it is to take the long view.
Clearly, economics is inherently political. It determines who is rich and who is poor. It causes a great deal of damage to the planet. One cannot look at economics from a neutral position. A feminist approach to the subject will differ from a neo-liberal take. What one sees is dependent on where one stands. J.K. Gibson-Graham demonstrated the value of looking at capitalism in an imaginative way. The pair of academics were creative in their postmodern appreciation of the world. No non-political British charity would promote their distinctive and illuminating vision.
Charities tend to be regulated by the Charity Commission for England and Wales. This board may take a dim view of political campaigning. Educating people in economics is a political activity. Shaping the minds of citizens is normally the responsibility of the media and the educational system. The idea of Economy is that economics should be simplified to aid understanding. But simplification always comes at a cost. This charity could be fooling people into thinking that they are informed.
Heterodox understandings of the economy allow people to make up their own minds. Marxist and Keynesian approaches to macroeconomics are valuable. A charity could focus its attention on less controversial ways of thinking. However, a smattering of behavioural economics does not make someone cognisant of the radical changes that are reshaping the way people work and consume. If a charity narrows the curriculum it is engaging in a politics that serves the elite.
Bite sized chunks of economics are highly misleading in as much as they do not enable the reader to gather detailed knowledge. Perusal of long texts is required if one wants to have a decent grasp of macroeconomics. Economy produces content that is glib and colourful. It delivers a disservice to what the writer Thomas Carlyle apparently termed “the dismal science.” The truth is that all economics is political economy. Neutral objectivity is not possible in a world which is conflict-ridden and polarised.
Simply put, learning economics from Economy is not learning economics. It was founded after an opinion poll by YouGov highlighted apparent ignorance. The problems with opinion polling are widely appreciated. And it is better to be completely ignorant than someone who is the plaything of inexpert experts.