Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mom Was Right

As I'm sure you're aware, today is Mother's Day! What you may or may not be aware of, is that mothers play a huge role in the economy. In Love & Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn't Work, Jennifer Roback Morse argues that since humans are not born as rational adults, they have to be taught and raised to be moral, rational, economic beings. In other words, mothers make the economy possible. My mom certainly taught me crucial lessons that have led to my illustrious life as the girl behind an economics blog. They appear below.

Ethics
Thanks to sayings like "It doesn't matter what anyone around you is doing, YOU have to do the right thing," my mom instilled in me a strong sense of right and wrong. This is a crucial aspect of economics, because the market requires that players do not engage in dishonest and unethical behavior, from price fixing to false advertising to cooked books. Similarly, in order to have a free market with minimal government intrusion, people have to behave themselves. If moms haven't raised ethical children, the government has to keep raising them.

Thrift
As you may know, my mom is a very stylish woman—she taught me everything I know. She also taught me that there are ways to keep up with trends without breaking the bank. With a little help from Christmas gifts, I've never spent more than $35 on a pair of shoes. Thanks to my mother, I have good taste and know how to wait until sale season or a coupon for fantastic pieces. Thrifty individuals make the economy work for them—by getting more clothes for the dollar, they raise their "real wage" and standard of living.

Hard Work
Another grain of wisdom from my youth is "Clean your room. You'll feel better." As much as I hated this (after all—it puts such a damper on pity parties!), it's been good advice. This weekend, I spent hours cleaning my apartment to prepare for move-out day. It was long, difficult, and smelled like bleach, but I didn't give up (I also felt better!). Similarly, the economy is ultimately a collection of entrepreneurs and their efforts. Starting a new business is hard work, and you can't luxuriate in pity parties. After all that hard work, you'll certainly feel better.

Thanks to my mom, I have learned valuable lessons that not only save me money, but contribute to the running of a free market (in fabulous shoes). My mom has taught me many other lessons as well, but those will have to come another day. I have work to do, money to save, and clothes to wear!

I celebrated Mother's Day in:
Black cropped pants, brightly patterned bias-cut empire waist blouse, black and silver hoop earrings, green zipper bracelet, and black leather, open-toe slingback pumps.