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Economics 101

Stock exchangeAn Introduction to Economics

We hear the word 'economy' in many different places.
For example: At the grocery store: "Economy Pack: 24 rolls of toilet paper!" In the newspaper: "The Canadian economy is in recession." In a magazine article: "6 Economical meals for your growing family." On an application form: "People of low economic status may qualify."

But what exactly does economy mean? Here are a few definitions:

  • management of a household - this is the original Greek definition
  • the range of things we do to provide for ourselves and our families
  • the way we spend our time; the contributions we make out of that time; and, how our contributions and therefore our time is valued
  • good management of the earth and its people
  • having to do with money and the exchange of money
  • a system to guide the sharing of limited resources
Only one of these definitions has to do primarily with money, yet this seems to be the way that most people think about the economy. And because economy has come to refer simply to that which has to do with money, anything not having to do with money is excluded. This means that a lot of work that women do is not recognized as having economic value. This also means that those with the most money, mostly men, have taken over the task of managing the economy and have assumed that they should make all - or most - economic decisions.

Aboriginal familyWe believe that the economy is for all who are citizens of the earth. Each of us uses the earth's resources and each makes a contribution to the world we live in. For that reason, we all have a right to understand how the economy works and to have a say in how we think it should work.

The Economy Is For Everyone!


  • Economics Glossary

    "The period of women's economic dependence is drawing to a close..."

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1898

    "Women often respond to the words 'economics,' 'macro-economics,' 'budgets,' and so on with feelings of fear and inadequacy. We associate these with 'experts' who do not look like us. They do not have to balance caring for children, the elderly or the sick, doing domestic chores and working in fields and factories or offices. Yet it is women who are expected to stretch their time to catch the fall-out from decisions made by economists, for example, macroeconomic choices resulting in cuts to health, welfare and so on."

    MP Pregs Govender,
    South Africa

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