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Econ should be part of core curriculum

Published: April 1, 2007
Section: Opinions


We attend a small liberal arts college with a strong core-curriculum requirement. Though many graduates of Brandeis will go on to be doctors, lawyers, or other well-trained professionals, our institution still requires us to take a variety of courses not necessarily related to our future endeavors. Ranging from the creative arts to the humanities, and even physical education, our school wants to make sure that in whatever path we lead, we will still have a rudimentary knowledge of many arenas of education. Still there is, in my opinion, one realm that is not required learning at Brandeis that should be mandatory to all students. All students should have to take an introductory economics class before graduation.

There are many reasons why I believe this requirement should be introduced as part of the core curriculum. Not only would it be awesome for every student to have the benefit of learning from Professor Coiner, but economics plays into every portion of our daily lives. Any profession, any life planning, requires a knowledge of economics. Whether you are a doctor or a lawyer, you will always need to determine ways to keep, invest and safeguard your money. In almost any important decision in life, from buying a house to starting a business or a practice, economics is the essential learning that can make ones decisions more educated and risk-free. For all that life has in store, and because of its many uses along the rocky path, an economics course is necessary to ensure that Brandeis students are better equipped to handle the modern world.

Furthermore, the study of economics is conducive to the life of an intellectual. Whenever anyone has debates about politics, business, or any number of issues, economic analysis is almost always in the dialogue. Whenever philosophers discuss the marketplace of ideas or when politicians talk about creating a better nation with no new taxes economic understanding is critical in formulating a rational understanding of the discussion. This subject is necessary to study for it pertains to any number of intellectual topics as it prepares us for future debate, decisions, and ultimately to live our lives in a more effective manner. Economic knowledge is critical and conducive to living a life of any educated person.

Finally, the study of economics is vital as it can be related to any number of lifes obstacles. When one discusses the opportunity cost of waiting in line or going to the salad bar in Usdan, they are applying the wisdom attained through economic study. If someone were to discuss the arbitrage of women on an all-mens floor and the value of interest this once abundant resource has just attained, they will be referring to various economic concepts. Though my examples may seem mundane, and perhaps even misogynistic (Its true, I live on an all-guys freshmen floor and they go crazy for women!) they are still testaments to the value of economic understanding for all facets of daily life. The study of introductory economics could have an extraordinarily positive effect on the lives of any student at Brandeis.

So I ask this dear university and its distinguished students to open their hearts and mandate the learning of economics. You have nothing to lose, and as this analysis would indicate, so much to gain. With whatever path you may choose, or vocation you may select, money will always be present and a need to manage it requires an understanding of economics. Furthermore, this learning can apply to dialogues and understandings that are necessary for any intellectual to possess. In order to make good and rational decisions on important issues, people must learn about economics and it should thus be mandated in this school. Finally, the study of economics can be applied to many life situations, and the knowledge of these basic concepts can enrich ones wisdom on a variety of issues. For all the positive benefits, I respectfully propose that we add introductory economics as a necessary requirement to the core curriculum at Brandeis University.