It is now or never…

“The best time for Economic and Financial Education against poverty is now; human beings are waiting to be equipped with the right tools to overcome the poverty trap”. JDHR

Juan David Huertas Ramos Lecturer/Consultant

We are in the knowledge era and now the proper time for Economic and Financial Education (EFE) to be given everyone, else humanity can never get conditions (material and nonmaterial) that dignify it. Poverty is a detriment of human dignity, because poverty is not just an economic condition about a lack of money or misuse of resources, but also, poverty curtails human freedom, takes human dreams, and dooms people to penury opportunities.

In this regard, EFE plays the most important responsibility in global development, because it is the only way to swift paradigms, ideas, and realities around poverty. That is possible because the Economy is a public good, it is not just a matter of economists. The economic problem (scarcity) consisting of human necessities are infinite but resources to apply in and resolve those, are not. Concerning necessities-resources, human management skills are vital. Those skills have to be the result of proper training that people can use to make rational decisions to maximize their benefits. Even, effective decisions results in greater economic well-being in a social context. That implies that one must take decisions, being aware of some economic and financial variables such as profits, risks, data, expectations, prices, short and long-term, money, debt, inflation, interest rates, etc. The availability of more information is a guarantee of better decision making.

The challenges of an economy can be addressed, if people receive proper training. The question however remains: What does a proper economic and financial training mean? It means states and governments have to lead public policies of economic and financial education for everyone. The first group to attend have to be children and youth. After which the adults and special population groups can be attended to. During that training, people should understand the most important economic and financial rules. This will help them to identify with clarity the economic and financial variables that play notable positions in human lives. Additionally, everyone has to draw an economic plan to achieve his/her personal goals, getting new skills and improve the older ones. The main idea behind that training is individual skills are the most adequate resources to resolve personal needs. The trouble is that theoretically, the economy can be likened to a puzzle; but really, it is an obstacle course. It is not possible to play the ‘economic game’ on a table, people usually play the economic game in a context of real social needs; avoiding and overcoming many obstacles, challenges, and complex situations.

The backbone of that training should be on how to manage money. That is because money is a crucial element in human life. Indeed, money is in the life of everyone, independent of one’s race, sex, heritage, social status, culture, or ideological conditions. Furthermore, money is not a thesis in the social dynamic, it is a fact. As a consequence, people have to learn how to use their money efficiently, that implies that they must understand the information provided by markets, taking into account that money moves on the economic game. At the heart of that information is the relationship between expectations and incentives. That is because consumers and sellers shape the prices through their expectations and incentives. That is very important because every economic agent (people, enterprises, state institutions, and international entities) plays in the economic game, as a buyer or seller in certain transactions.  Finally, it is possible to conclude that the economic game is about how people can overcome challenges in understanding market incentives and expectations. That’s all!