Only two people know the back story to this. My girlfriend and my daughter. I’ll tell it here.
On New Year’s Eve, daughter and I stayed home. It was raining here and she didn’t want to go anywhere. We had our own little party. Sparkling juice, pigs in blankets and popcorn. After MN, I checked my email. Had one from earlier in the evening from Medium. Looked at the title. Hmm? I opened it. It was notifying me that I had been named one of their top economic contributors for the year!
Now, that is how to start a New year!
Okay, here come the disclaimers. First of all, I don’t know what criteria they use to determine this. Neither am I going to read up on it because I don’t want to ruin it for myself if I don’t like it. The tag is now on my page for an entire year and knowing will not change that. I’m going to be happy with it and move on. It does help me with my single NY Resolution which is to expand my reach with my writing this year and try to make a living wage from my writing alone. Maybe add some related activities at some point if I can brand myself more effectively. Being able to devote all my work time to writing would make me a more effective writer.
Economics is not my major focus. I understand economics better than the average American, yes. However, I see economics as integral to the workings of society. That is my major focus. Society, equality across the spectrum is my personal focus.
I am not an economist. I have had education and experience which have led to my understanding of economics, both formal and informal.
When I was 19, I had a job as an assistant restaurant manager. That gave me my first real exposure to economics. I took it further than many by looking at what was happening like major events in my city to plan ahead for business flow. Even concerts or fairs. By that, I predicted peak business times which nobody expected, so I staffed and stocked in anticipation. I stepped down from manager to continue cooking but coordinated with managers for the same purpose the rest of my time in restaurants.
In the 80’s I took my first college classes for business management and administration. That introduced me to how the stock market worked. Just happened I was in Germany at the time and my teacher was a retired Brigadier General who had settled as an expat in Germany. I learned as much or more from conversations after class than I did in class. He was basically a Social Democrat. While in Germany, I observed their system compared to ours.
Since then, I have had formal and informal education and experience in psychology and marketing, which means an understanding of human motivation. Sociology and social systems. Had a Socialist as a Sociology professor in college who was awesome. Can’t count the books I’ve read or how many hours I’ve spent listening to Dr Richard Wolff and Chris Hedges.
Back to the point. It really came as a pleasant shock when I got that email. Yet the one goal I have in writing about economic subjects is putting economic matters in plain language that anyone can understand. That will continue to be my goal because when I listen to discussions about economics, I find it most obvious that people are confused. Economists and WAR Street “experts” use terminology that is intended to confuse the public. Meanwhile, stock investors have been proven to be as accurate as a random program or cat playing with a toy picking stocks.
For people to have a legitimate discussion, they have to understand the way economic programs and systems work and how it affects them personally. It is when people do not understand terms and concepts that they can be manipulated by corporate interests and elected officials who are owned by those corporate interests.
I continue to learn. Even now I come up against terms and concepts which I do not understand or have a low understanding of. What I do not do is act like I understand things which I do not. What I do is look further into those issues until I do have an adequate grasp of what their implications are. If it turns out that concept is affecting many lives, I pass that information along in the simplest terms I can. I know some subjects can be complex but I try and break them down to make them easily grasped.
Am I afraid of being wrong? One thing about economics is that it encompasses a lot of different views and theories. Nobody likes to be wrong but to date anyone who has claimed In was incorrect focused on some trivia which changed nothing on the subject or (most likely) was trying to argue in favor of the failed status quo. I’m always open to rational debate but will never stand down easily when confronted by pure greed. In the event I am literally wrong about something, I will concede. Just know I always do my research before publishing a single word.
I hope my writing helps. I do hope that if my writing helps people understand any subject better that they will share the particular article or at least a credited quote/excerpt to promote further understanding.
Thank you, my readers, who are responsible for placing my writing as a top contributor. I hope to do even better this year and every future year.