Principles of Economics/Preface/To The Student
This text is designed to provide you with a very comprehensive and easy-to-understand introduction to economics. This text will assume no background in economics. All you really need is an open mind and an interest in learning!
Endless melee - Initiating Author
Why study economics?
Those who don't study economics will say that it's boring. Those who do will say that it's dismal. The former say it's boring because they can't see the relationships so crucial to the discipline. The latter say it's dismal because many of the conclusions reached reveal saddening facts. It's not knowledge that's easy to show off, either, nor is it particularly useful in day-to-day interactions.
So why would you ever want to study economics?
Study it because it interests you. Study it because monetary policy intrigues you, because you want to know the causes of inflation, because you wonder how the market works so flawlessly (or not), because you wish to comprehend socially applied concepts of efficiency, because the concepts of supply and demand are beautiful to you, because you find the analytical tools and theories of economics graceful, because you hope to learn more about the market and the "invisible hand", because...
-- Yunzhong Hou - Primary Author and Illustrator
The world is made up of billions of people, each with their own motivations and beliefs. To try to fully understand each individual would be a hopeless exercise in futility. Instead, the job of the economist is to simplify the world to the point where we can say something interesting about it. When building a model, it is always my hope that the interesting bit of information I walk away with will, by some miracle, still be useful when applied to the real world, which is anything but simple.
Note that I haven't said anything about an economy, money, or trade yet. You'll read quite a bit about those topics in this book, but they are not as essential to economics as you might think. Economics is the study of people and choice. It's a methodology. It's a way of thinking about the world. If the authors have done their job, you'll walk away from this text with a new perspective on the world and a deeper understanding of how choices are made.
~ BU Rob13 - Contributing author