Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek οἰκονομία (oikonomia, "management of a household, administration") from οἶκος (oikos, "house") + νόμος (nomos, "custom" or "law"), hence "rules of the house(hold)".
Economics is the science which treats of wealth - the material objects and human services which contribute to human welfare, and are therefor valued. The history of mankind is largely a record of progress in the power of producing wealth, and are therefore valued.
Marx’s economic analysis is therefore characterised by a strong ground current of historical relativism, with a strong recourse to the genetical and evolutionary method of thinking (that is why the parallel with Darwin has often been made, sometimes in an excessive way). The formula ’genetic structuralism’ has also been used in relation to Marx’s general approach to economic analysis. Be that as it may, one could state that Marx’s economic theory is essentially geared to the discovery of specific ’laws of motion’ for successive modes of production.
Probably the best formula for characterising Marx’s economic theory would be to call it an endeavour to explain the social economy. This would be true in a double sense. For Marx, there are no eternal economic laws, valid in every epoch of human prehistory and history. Each mode of production has its own specific economic laws, which lose their relevance once the general social framework has fundamentally changed.
The U.S. economy faces enormous challenges. Although the foundations of economic freedom remain strong, recent government interventions have eroded limits on government, and public spending by all levels of government now exceeds one-third of total domestic output. The regulatory burden on business continues to increase rapidly, and heightened uncertainty further increases regulations’ negative impact. Fading confidence in the government’s determination to promote or even sustain open markets has discouraged entrepreneurship and dynamic investment within the private sector.
In short, economics includes the study of labor, land, and investments, of money, income, and production, and of taxes and government expenditures. Economists seek to measure well-being, to learn how well-being may increase over time, and to evaluate the well-being of the rich and the poor. The most famous book in economics is the Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations written by Adam Smith, and published in 1776 in Scotland.
Economics is the study of how people choose to use resources.
Resources include the time and talent people have available, the land, buildings, equipment, and other tools on hand, and the knowledge of how to combine them to create useful products and services.
Economics is the social science that deals with problems of choice and decision making. It does so through a systematic and logical framework for analyzing how society and individuals solve such problems as what goods and services to produce, how to organize production and for whom goods and services are to be produced. Knowledge of economics is necessary for understanding and dealing intelligently with topics such as domestic and global economic development, environmental and natural resource management, renewable energy policy, international trade, government finance and market failure.
Economics in great measure tries to uncover the processes that influence how people's lives come to be what they are. The discipline also tries to identify ways to influence those very processes so as to improve the prospects of those who are hugely constrained in what they can be and do. The former activity involves finding explanations, while the latter tries to identify policy prescriptions. Economists also make forecasts of what the conditions of economic life are going to be, but if the predictions are to be taken seriously, they have to be built on an understanding of the processes that shape people's lives; which is why the attempt to explain takes precedence over forecasting.
Another early definition, one which is perhaps more useful, is that of English economist W. Stanley Jevons who, in the late 19th century, wrote that economics was "the mechanics of utility and self interest." One can think of economics as the social science that explores the results of people acting on the basis of self-interest. There is more to man than self-interest, and the other social sciences--such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science--attempt to tell us about those other dimensions of man.
One of the earliest and most famous definitions of economics was that of Thomas Carlyle, who in the early 19th century termed it the "dismal science." According to a much-repeated (but erroneous) story, what Carlyle had noticed was the anti-utopian implications of economics. Many utopians, people who believe that a society of abundance without conflict is possible, believe that good results come from good motives and good motives lead to good results. Economists have always disputed this, and it was to the forceful statement of this disagreement by early economists such as Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo that Carlyle supposedly reacted.