The link between Economics and Politics grew stronger for when Britain voted to leave the European Union, an event which will have major economic consequences was decided by referendum. Something so important which was decided by the individual decisions of humans who are easily influenced, hold countless prejudices and whose result would depend on the voter turnout of all social groups. The events of 2016 made me curious in finding out how the economic situation of a country can influence political decisions, and made me realise how delicate decision making can be.
Every economic decision that is made at an individual level or on a national scale is made in the hopes of bettering your own life or the lives of the population you are governing. It is for this reason that I feel it is thus important whilst studying Economics to also study the consequences of applying the theories to the real world. For example, whilst reading Milton Friedman’s “Capitalism and Freedom”, we discover what role he thinks the government should have in our economy and how that would be applied practically. The chapter on education, in particular, made me realise the effect economists have on the development and the well being of a country.
Similarly economists can find that social issues such as inequality, unemployment and poverty have a clear impact on every part of the economy. This can be found in Joseph Stiglitz’s “The Price of Inequality” which discusses how social inequality can stagnate the country’s overall long term growth. The links that economists find are not only hypothetical but are proved through graphs and charts, which can then be criticised and improved as our understanding and knowledge of the economy increases.
My interest in microeconomics was also furthered when I had the opportunity to do one week’s work experience in an advertising agency. It provided a useful insight into the creative process behind the advertisements which in turn, can have a great impact on the demand for the product. It allowed me to view the market as a business would and let me see that competition is so much more than who can sell for the lowest price.
Through my extended essay required of my L1 Advanced course, I was able to do further research into key topics in Politics such as freedom and different regimes used. For example George Orwell’s “1984” which showcases a totalitarian regime where the characters are constantly being watched by “Big Brother” and “The Party”. Even though this is a work of fiction, for some people it does resemble reality and demonstrates a political standard we should avoid at all costs.
The first practical experience of Politics I had was when I was chosen to represent my school at the national conference of the European Youth Parliament. The week long event consisted of trying to find solutions for a variety of topics and concluded with a final debate. My chosen topic was food waste and more importantly how to reduce it, it required a strong knowledge of current affairs and the ability to decipher what were the key facts relevant to the discussion. It gave me first hand experience in the decision making process at Parliament.
I was also chosen to participate in an Erasmus + project along with students of my own age and younger. Students from all over Europe were selected to travel to Strasbourg where we took part in activities including creative writing and performing in a variety of languages. The year before I was also selected for my school’s Maths team where myself and a group of peers participated in local competitions.
I look forward to starting my higher education and being challenged academically not only through books but also through participating in societies, particularly debating and writing about current affairs. In the future, I would like to have some power in helping my community become more fair and equal through education and engagement.