Economics is a discipline that impacts everyone, yet it is also a subject where few people are able to have their say. Whilst the majority of people want to understand and engage with the economic decisions and events that affect their lives, many also think that the subject is not for them, or is something best left to the ‘experts’.
In a time where all our politicians seem to talk about is the economy, this is dangerous for democracy. In a poll of 1548 British adults we ran in collaboration with Yougov in 2015 we found that only 12% of respondents found that economics was spoken about in a way that is easy and accessible to understand. Further to this, we found that only 39% of respondents could define Gross Domestic Product, 43% the Government Budget Deficit and 30% Quantitative Easing. This lack of basic knowledge prevents individuals making informed democratic choices about which political party best represents them and it also inhibits them from positively articulating their views (see Guardian Article ‘Lack of Financial Literacy Amongst Voters is a Threat to Democracy’). However, when we asked whether people would like to know more about economics, only 13% of respondents said ‘no’ whilst 69% said ‘yes’, with some (34% and 21%) claiming time or resources were a barrier to their learning. Our Public Education project ‘Economy‘ is dedicated to overcoming those barriers, and to democratising economics.
Through our public education project ‘Economy‘, we aim to:
Help explain key economic concepts and ideas, why they matter and what they assume about the way our society operates
Provide jargon-free, creative and accessible news and coverage of economic issues
Give people the confidence to discuss their own experiences as part of the wider economy and share their thoughts on how it should work