What is Economics?
If you were to peruse the comments section of any blog that ever touches on economics, even in passing, you are likely to find the criticism (perhaps the worst one possible) that “reducing _______ to economics” is somehow horrible. Well now, I have to wonder about the thought process that goes into that, because I have been under the impression that nearly everything was an economic problem. Lets investigate.
After reading that, I am actually having a harder time then before trying to find a question that one shouldn’t subject to economic scrutiny, but it is possible than Wikipedia has been vandalized by someone, so let’s look elsewhere. Dictionary.com has two:
1.( used with a singular verb ) the science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, or the material welfare of humankind.
2.( used with a plural verb ) financial considerations; economically significant aspects: What are the economics of such a project?
Still not leading me off of the path I’ve been treading and it’s just more of the same elsewhere. The commenter’s I see posting such things usually seem to have one thing in common, that “cost” is something that shouldn’t be considered all the time when it comes to things that would make peoples lives better. You can see this in the current debate over whether or not 100% contraception coverage should be mandated in all insurance policies. Some people make the point that the result, given history, is that the cost of contraception will go up, not down, the only difference being who is stuck with the bill.***
Solutions that would just make it cheaper (although it seems awful cheap already, I’m sure that’s just because $9 a month is a lot of money to someone who isn’t a billionaire like myself) (ha!) don’t seem to be worthy of consideration. Why I don’t know. One of the things I’ve proposed is not requiring a doctors prescription, which could be done literally in minutes, the time it takes for the FDA to write a policy change memo. Instantly eliminating (a useless) part of the cost, doctors.
It’s totally nonsensical to make a claim that the cost, or more properly, the economics, of a policy shouldn’t be considered when debating it, or that it’s somehow cold or uncaring to do so. Unless you live in some kind of dream world, it’s just plain illogical to say one should ignore a part of reality, namely that everything has an opportunity cost and resources are not, and never will be, unlimited. It’s possible I am wrong, if so, let me know when you find those free lunches I’ve heard so much about.
*** Why one would mandate that insurance companies should give away free products is beyond me anyway. Why not mandate that the manufacturers give them away? Or pharmacies? Hell, why don’t we just mandate that all healthcare is free and no one is permitted to charge for it at all?