My intended major is Economics, a subject in which I developed an interest in two very different ways. At the level of microeconomics, I have first-hand experience with the challenges of surviving alone in the United States as a self-dependent international student. On one hand, the U.S. offers many potential opportunities; on the other hand, economic survival for working students requires very responsible management of finances and resources. On the level of macroeconomics, I was both alarmed and fascinated by the manner in which the entire U.S. economy nearly collapsed in 2008, just as I was beginning to settle into life in the U.S. In addition to issues of the highly complex interrelationships among and between the business, investment banking, and housing sectors, the situation also highlighted important ethical issues that obviously must be addressed to prevent repeated economic catastrophes.
As a student of economics, I hope to develop a basic understanding of the classic fundamental principles in the field. However, I also hope to study some of the broader ways that economic issues affect and even shape contemporary human societies. Since coming to the U.S., I have learned that the American consumer economy is much more complex than I realized, especially in connection with the extent of consumer dependence on credit to fund higher lifestyles than might be sound economically. Interestingly, it seems that this feature remains relatively constant regardless of the level of the socioeconomic spectrum. That is fascinating to anybody who comes from a foreign community where Americans are envied and believed to be so much more fortunate than many of us in the rest of the world.
Finally, in that regard, I also anticipate that studying the ethical issues and legal concepts that apply to economic practices, including the intersection between the private business sectors and government. From my perspective, it seems that there are many potential areas of study just in the manner in which the consumerism mentality in the U.S. fueled the housing market bubble and the ways that big business interests profited from those impulses at the macro level while, in effect, destabilizing the entire national economy. Likewise, at the micro level, there is much to learn from the practices of individual lending institutions and real estate brokerages and their exploitation of individuals and families brought up on the American dream of home ownership. I hope that my introductory studies in economics will help me identify a more specific academic focus in an area that will allow me to establish a career, ideally in a field that might contribute to resolving some of the systemic economic problems in human societies.