Most of us have opinions concerning important and controversial issues. But are our opinions truly informed, or are they based more upon emotions and a shallow understanding of things?
At its heart, economics is benefit/cost analysis. It begins with the understanding that every action that is taken--by a consumer, business person, or government official--has benefits and costs. Only by truly understanding those benefits and costs can we fairly evaluate the action. We cannot rely upon emotions or the opinions of others to ascertain the benefits and costs of an action--we need information and rational analysis.Economics can be a source of information and rational analysis. It is a social science whose practitioners use the scientific method to try to understand how the economy works. This understanding leads to insight and knowledge. Economics is at its heart the rational pursuit of the truth.
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