I was recently reading an article on an economics blog about the multiplier of public expenditure on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) which aimed to show Portugal is not under a recessive spiral.

I realized that for many people in Portugal, as well as in the whole world, this whole sentence may have a very obscure, undecipherable meaning. With this, I mean the lay person knows very little or nothing about Economics. For instance, I have a superficial understanding of what GDP is and what a recession is. However, I did not understand what a multiplier was and I still do not have a good level of comprehension of it. From what I understood, it is a coefficient that may descibe the relationship between economic variables, whatever they might be. In the aforementioned case, this multiplier would describe the effect of public expenditure manipulation on GDP.  My point is not exactly we should know what a multiplier is, for I think it is a very complex concept. I have searched for it on several websites and I did not find a clear explanation of it. But I think we should have a basic Economics background that should guide us throughout our lives. We are economic agents: we have a financial income, spend money on economic activities of our choice, thus shaping the market; we can eventually save money, invest it in savings bank accounts, which will be used by the banks for loans to other economic agents. We should have an idea of how wealth can be created through the circulation of our money. Also, the governments we vote for choose how to shape a country’s economy in order to maximize our well-being as individuals and as a society. How can we vote in any government model, presented by alternative parties, if we don’t know what Economics is and how the State can manipulate it? I feel we currently vote in political projects we cannot understand. In this setting, we do not know what we choose and an uninformed choice is not democratic enough for me.

In Portugal, Economics is only taught to Economics specialized students in high schools and in college, nothing else. No other people have contact with even the most basic Economics concepts. Yet, in other countries, like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and India, Economics is taught at schools to all children, in different ages. Well, let’s follow their example in order to educate citizen who will be more informed about their future political choices. This policy could only leverage our degree of citizenship.