Before attending university I was of the opinion that the choice to study Economics was a fine and reasoned one. What could be better than a respectable degree which has stood the test of time, offers a variety of well paid careers choices and is evident and relevant in every aspect of society?
There was nothing in the prospectus which said that studying economics puts you at a serious disadvantage in social situations. The main problem is that many economists do not frequent social situations, the plucky few who muster the courage to brave the outside world are the kind of people who believe that a suitable answer to "why did you choose economics?" might be "because economists do it with models". Naturally conversation doesn't progress much further from here.
This is the exact reason I dread the moment when I have to tell someone (particularly a member of the fairer sex, and even more so if they are clad in one of those neck scarf things, the insignia of an arts student) that I am an economics student. The usual response is a look somewhere in the region of blank. Once, and I promise this is all true, someone (arts student) asked what I was studying, "economics" I replied, this time no blank look, "So you want to be a chef" she replied. "No, you are thinking of home economics". It was at this point I realised barely anybody has a clue about the economy.
In the past few weeks this has all changed, the dismal science has started doing well for itself, getting out there in the world by making headlines which are impressive, and none more so than the ones which talk about the "R" word, the doom and gloom of recession. There is nothing like a good crisis to bring the economists out of the woodwork. As a student of the dismal science I have been brought out of the murky corners and have been vested with the power to decipher the news!
As I have been explaining to my arts student pals, this recession will be our first one and the whole idea sounds all rather exciting. Most papers would have you believe that the world will stop turning if the UK even comes close to two periods of negative GDP. If you have a job and a mortgage then this may be a bit of a sorry time but as I have been explaining to my new found social circles, for us, the jobless, mortgage free, bright young things the outlook will be nothing more than glorious.
For a start food prices will be a heck of a lot cheaper. There is nothing more bothersome than having to spend an arm and a leg on food, were it not for its fundamental role in survival I certainly wouldn't buy any and therefore wholeheartedly welcome any event which promises cheaper onions.
We all know that the banking system has been looking a bit wobbly; banks which were inept in rocky times will have been sent to the void by natural selection or have Mr Brown as a major stakeholder. The whole gang will be under much close scrutiny (once the FSA have caught up with things). Not only will the banking sector be more stable, the share price will be at rock bottom along with house prices. We are the generation which has been brought up on a diet of Bargain Hunt and Property Ladder. Come graduation there will be no better time to release all of that pent up day time TV knowledge upon the world.
Pick up a nice house for half the price it was two years ago and whilst you are there grab some shares in the house builders themselves, pay for it on a mortgage from a bank which won't collapse then off to Tesco where the weekly shop will only cost about five pounds. The only thing we have to worry about is capital gains tax.