In learning about economics, we’re discovering how people share and make the best use of the scarce resources available to them. Economics is about people and their stories. The stories are of creativity and innovation. They are about the individual as well as the community. There are too many tales of booms and busts, greed and fear, rich and poor. Economics involves scholars who try to understand how the economy works.

From the earliest societies—when the population was small, and people lived simply off the land—to today’s complex civilization, the driving force on the most basic level has been the need to sustain ourselves with food, clothing, and shelter. What we cannot make or sow ourselves, we must buy, and thus emerged the ...

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