Professor Menna Bizuneh talks about how at Pitzer, she teaches the intersectionality of economics on sociology and politics, and the social impact that economic decisions have on our society.
The one thing that I am very proud of at Pitzer is that we go out of our way, as a field group in Economics, to inject the concept of economics that works for everyone. So it is not about economics benefiting the few or the rich or so on so forth. But it is about the social impact of what you’re analyzing. So, it is not about analyzing a tax policy, or a tax policy tax, this tax cut will make you know, an increase in government revenue by X percent or it will decrease deficit by X percent, but it is what is the impact of this on women? What is the impact of this on minorities? What is the impact of this on the project to clean the water in Flint, Michigan? What does it mean when you reallocate money from, you know, Planned Parenthood or from welfare or from scholarships or financial aid to first-generation students, and you take it to fight unemployment because of COVID? What does that mean? There’s a lot of implications to that. So this intersectionality of economics, both in the sociology and politics, and the impact of such decisions on the environment, you know, we’re not driving now, which is really great for us, means lower tax revenues associated with DMV taxes, but it also means better clean air. Better clean air also means less healthcare costs. So this intersectionality, this connectivity across disciplines, I think is what makes consumer education really great. And that economics sits in the middle of this interdisciplinary nature is what makes an economics major in economics class, is very, very interesting.