In mathematical calculations, there is an order of operations. Logical solutions to problems require adherence to that order for at least two reasons. 1) The obvious, is that the results would often make no sense if we disregarded the order. Other times they would be, “spot on.” On a random basis the results would either be perfect or wildly divergent from being believable. 2) The subject of math would be characterized as a form of gambling. Rigid rules dictate the order of operations so mathematical results can be predictably accurate, comfortable measurements that we can use to quantify, explain, and predict much about our physical environment. Respect for the discipline is as important as its accuracy. First accuracy, then respect, that is the oder of operations.
Economics is a place where mathematics is used to quantify, explain and predict. It also has an order of operations, and as with math the results are randomly divergent when they are not adhered to. Mathematical explanations of these random situations are as incoherent as if they were produced with astrology, voodoo, or witchcraft. Economics, as with the discipline of mathematics, needs respect in order to produce credible results, and it must adhere to its order of operations.
Economics takes place on a time continuum. Mankind receives genetics, wisdom, values, environment, and tools from previous generations. They work with their inheritance. They improve or degrade it, and pass it on to the next generation. Our economics has no beginning, no middle, and no end. It is a moving target, like a cross generational lifeboat that travels in a good direction when we serve and protect its occupants, respect its history, and prepare for its future. Its order of operations are study and learn from history, apply its lessons kindly and competently, and aim at and prepare for a better future.
History has taught us one lesson that we have consistently ignored for thousands of years. It is the first step in the order of operations in economics. Many of the great leaders over the past several thousand years have alluded to it in documents or speeches, and we refer to quotes from these leaders as evidence of their greatness. So it isn’t for the lack of knowledge that we are economically incompetent. It is because the knowledge is not applied. There is no discipline of economics that adheres to the order of operations, because of that, what we call economics is logically associated with voodoo, witchcraft, and gambling. It is exploited in a very similar way.
The bureaucratic structures that surround us, are caused by the decay of civilized behavior. Those encapsulated cannot smell the stench of rotting flesh. Economics makes civilization rot resistant, and it sensitizes the olfactory systems of those who should notice. The economic order of operations is important because civilization cannot bloom with rotten roots, and the roots will rot if they are not protected and cared for. “We the people.” are the roots of civilization. The discipline of economics should be to respect our forbearers, afford us compassionate opportunity, and encourage, enlighten, and endow grace on the generations that will follow.