I'm taking some Economics classes as part of a wider business-related degree, and I'm surprised and pleased at how much I really like it. That's not to say that I'm any good at it, but I genuinely enjoy my classes and I'm half wishing I could transfer to a degree with a stronger focus on the subject.
However, I am finding it to be somewhat of a solo hobby. The classes I'm taking are more about the mechanics of economics and don't really lend themselves towards debate or discussion. In addition, there isn't really any attempt towards linking economic theories with real life issues, which is a shame, because it's not like macroeconomics isn't staring us in the face every evening at 6 o' clock.
Maybe it's a self confidence thing as well about discussing this online, like the time that I was reading through some stuff on the Economist website and wondered if I was the only one who copped that the journalist was slightly to the right of the Kaiser. (I'm telling you, the entire economic definitions section reads like an ode to privatisation). I feel a bit silly for evening saying it out loud, in case I turn out to be horribly wrong.
I suppose what I'm asking is why do you study economics? Why do you like it? What were the "oooh really?" moments that hit you when you studied it?
Also if someone can recommend macro introductory textbook that wasn't written by Gregory Mankiw, that would be awesome.
PS - the main Economics article on Wikipedia - what's your opinion on it? Is it a fairly neutral, factual accounting of the topic or not? I know college students are supposed to avoid it like the plague, but I have to start somewhere, and it's a jumping off point for a lot of really interesting places (except Richard Lynn. Don't ask me how I ended up there. That was scary).