Economics : Definition and Nature
Economics is the proper allocation and efficient use of available resources for the maximum satisfaction of human wants. Since resources are generally scarce while human wants tend to be unlimited, economics encounters not a few problems. However, the biggest problem is not limited resources like land, money, machines, raw materials, technology, skilled workers, or competent managers. The root problem, which is the real problem, is the unjust distribution of productive resources among the members of the society. Such misdistribution of wealth and income is the root cause of poverty. Our available resources are in the hands of very few families. So, most of the people are mere tenants, clerks, factory workers and servants.
Nature of Economics
Economics is classified as a social science because it deals with the study of man's life and how he lives with other men. Obviously, economics is interdependent, with other sciences like sociology, political science, history, geography and physics. In fact, it is even affected by religion. For example, a jobless man is likely to create a social crime like stealing.
The policies of the government influence economic activities. The geography of a region determines the main sources of incomes of the people, like fishing or farming. The solution of economic problems or economic planning may rely on past events or historical developments. In the case of physics, it produces machines and electricity. These are very useful in the production of goods and services. Likewise, religion is related to economics. Religious traditions and beliefs can discourage or encourage economic development.
Considering the nature of economics, it is not advisable to solve an economic problem with economic solution alone. This can not solve the economic problem. Our economic problems are not purely economic in nature. These are also created by non-economic factors like culture, education, social and political. Therefore, to solve completely or minimize an economic problem, we need not only economic solutions but also political, social and cultural reforms.
For example, a poor farmer has several bad habits like heavy drinking and gambling. He has remained very poor because he is just a tenant, and he spends his little income mostly on his vices. Giving the poor farmer a land of his own does not automatically improve his economic condition. If he does not know how to use properly his income, and the middleman gets most of the fruits of production of the farmer, then the economic problem of the farmer has not been solved.
Supply and Demand Economics
A part of economics that most people cannot understand is supply and demand. Today in 2017, people are screaming for rent controls because of the soaring rental rates. The government will rarely put on rent controls because of soaring rental rates or housing prices. This goes for all products like housing, rents, mortgages, food and all other products.
This is all about supply and demand. The housing costs, whether home prices or rents are a great example in hot housing markets like San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and Denver. There are more people looking for a place to live, than there are places to rent or buy. This is supply and demand. Like vegetables, when weather causes a problem in the production of food, and more people are buying than there is a supply for, the prices will rise.
This is a perfect example of economics and supply and demand. Yes, governments have laws against gouging, but that is usually in times of emergency.
As for farm land, this has increased dramatically because of investors. Farm land has become the hot market for corporate investors. Once the corporations see an investment opportunity, they jump on it, which raises the prices for all land properties.
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