by Ray Keating
February 27, 2024
As an economist, I’m attuned to how CEOs, managers, analysts, and elected officials talk about a business, an industry and the economy. That tendency obviously gets particularly focused on The Walt Disney Company in my role as a columnist for and publisher of DisneyBizJournal.com, not to mention as host of the “Daily Dose of Disney” podcast.
As a result, I often hear views that sound authoritative but have little basis in sound economics. That seems to most often be the case when politicians decide to speak out on business and the economy.
So, one of my vocations in life is to help people think more clearly about economics and how the economy works. This mission is executed, in part, in my Weekly Economist series. The Weekly Economist III: Another 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist has just been published, and it follows on The Weekly Economist II: 52 More Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist. and The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist.
Why does this matter? Well, the answer is straightforward. As I note in The Weekly Economist III, “Get the economics wrong and things usually don’t turn out so well… Get the economics right, and while life will not be perfect, it will be better.” That’s the case from decisions made for particular businesses to decisions by policymakers that affect much of the economy.
In recent years, for example, Disney fans have been witness to questionable or controversial decisions made by company CEOs, as well as leading politicians, that have impacted the well-being of the Disney company. And too often, we hear views on such matters that also are unrelated to how business and the economy actually work.
It’s my hope that people following Disney, doing business with Disney or related to Disney, or simply ranking as fans of the House of Mouse can benefit from reading the latest Weekly Economist book, as well as the first two books in the series.
For example, those interested in Disney should find value in reading essays in The Weekly Economist III that explain the “10 C’s” of capitalism, cover top worries and positives looking ahead for the economy, address the tight labor market, examine intellectual property investment, and deal with trade and subsidies.
Likewise, in The Weekly Economist II, Disney aficionados should find insights in chapters touching on innovation vs. regulation, corporate welfare, inflation, interest rates, labor unions, corporations, stock buybacks, and corporate social responsibility.
And in The Weekly Economist, Disney-interested readers should appreciate chapters on the role of profits, policies for growth, Wall Street and Main Street, the stock market, shorting stocks, the business cycle, automation, advertising, bankruptcy, and supply chains.
By the way, there are chapters covering aspects of entrepreneurship in all three books, and the points made there line up with many of the views held by Walt Disney on entrepreneurship. And why not? After all, Walt was one of the great entrepreneurs of the 20th century.
Getting back to why getting our thinking clear on economics matters, as I write in The Weekly Economist III, “If you’re concerned about raising incomes and reducing poverty, the overall quality of life, and expanding opportunity, for example, then you should care about sound economic thinking on all kinds of issues. It’s important to put aside mistaken assumptions, and get to economic reality. That’s why I became an economist in the first place, that is, it became clear to me that if we got our economics clear, then we could improve decision-making on many different fronts, from investment to management to public policymaking, with beneficial results for everyone.”
I hope you agree, and enjoy the Weekly Economist books.
Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com; and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers and mysteries, the Alliance of Saint Michael novels, and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right?
The Disney Planner: The TO DO List Solution combines a simple, powerful system for getting things done with encouragement and fun for Disney fans, including those who love Mickey, Marvel, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pixar, princesses and more.
Consider other books by Ray Keating, including…
• The Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers and mysteries. There are 19 books in the series now.
• Cathedral: An Alliance of Saint Michael Novel is at Amazon.
• The Lutheran Planner: The TO DO List Solution combines a simple, powerful system for getting things done with encouragement, inspiration and consolation from the Christian faith.
• Signed editions of Ray’s books are at www.raykeatingbooksandmore.com.
Also, check out Ray’s podcasts – the Daily Dose of Disney, Free Enterprise in Three Minutes, and the PRESS CLUB C Podcast.