Economics deals with all issues related to Money, goods and services in a city, society, Countries and the World, how it moves around and how it works. Generally speaking, 98% is in the hands of rich Republicans and other Conservatives around the world  , and is used to manipulate everyone else into falling in line with their agenda.
Economics is also a field of study. Economics is generally considered one of the Social Sciences because it is also a study of human behavior. Economics is often studied as two somewhat related fields, micro-economics and macro-economics.
Micro-economics is the study of the economics of small scale or of organizations. Because small organizations are generally able to control the behavior of their members, micro-economics tends to be much more quantifiable and understandable than Macro-economics which studies economics of a large scale where individuals are more free to act. For those of you who can think in terms of mathematics, it's about the number of variables in the equation.
It's Too Vast To Describe The State Of ItEdit
You should probably stop paying attention to things "experts" are babbling about how messed up "the economy" is, or has been, or will be. Think about it for a moment and you'll understand why. "The economy" is a thing that makes "the Internet" seem tiny by comparison, since that thing is only one aspect of its conduits. Imagine the contemporary hyper-connective "interwebs" of the give-and-take of value: complex entangled lattices of pathways upon which money is getting spent, and stored, and invested, and then liquidated and that whole mess done all over again on some smaller or different level of itself. Now imagine it as about a hundred times larger than what you had been thinking of because we are talking about six billion people here, and you probably didn't imagine it as being large enough. Now try to imagine all of everyone's "goods and services" that are being exchanged with different ones by one economic entity and any number of other ones, and all the data representing that...ADDED to all the information that attempts to describe the qualities and quantities of those things...which is constantly itself running through the processes of becoming commodified and de-commodified.
Are you dizzy yet?Edit
Imagine all that data and energy and how it is constantly whizzing about all around the globe, each day and night, passing through all the nodal points of persons, companies, umbrella corporations and governments, getting itself made into different things so many times and in so many ways that no part of it really stays what it is long enough for the rest of it to get impressions of before it's all changed into different hands again. Do not believe a word of anyone who thinks they have either understanding of or influence upon it, because they'd have to be totally barmy to think themselves or their holdings, or even their entire nation's holdings, as having that much clout within something that enormous. (Unless we're talking about a very big nation like the United States.)
Try and keep trackEdit
People track the passage of one dollar bills on a website called "Where'sGeorge.com" by writing on them a note that asks people to write to an email address and report their serial number, as well as where and when they saw the bills. Look at it and you see, wow, there is a LOT of money out there--and this is just that which people who read that site bothered to track. Imagine that site had data on every dollar bill in circulation, as well as every other cash denomination, and that of all the other world currencies. The thing would probably nearly outsize Google. Then...add all the invisible ones-and-zeroes-based electronic transactions. Got a grip on this yet? I didn't think so. Even bankers probably can't wrap their minds around the scale involved here--though they spend their lives trying to. When they seem to know what they're talking about, it's probably just accidental.
Is the economy sick or well?Edit
Trying to conceive of someone actually being able to tell how well that whole schmeer is doing at any point and you realise it isn't even close to possible. By the time you got a grasp of something that complex its state will have already changed. Therefore: face it, the only thing that would make the economy collapse is a major event like a plague or disaster wiping out at least 90% of the population, thus isolating the remainder from itself enough to prevent most trade from happening. That would be "the meltdown of the economy" It's not going to happen, and were it to, it would probably be the least of your worries. So make it that way now. You'll feel lots more sane about it then. Of course if people lose their jobs that can be total meltdown for them and their dependents and it can be total meltdown for a whole area if an important employer closes down or moves out.
Currency - IOU Symbols versus Actual Value Items Edit
What seems to be happening is a progressively widining disjunct between the economy of value, and the stuff people use as place-holders to represent it to one another for what is essentially just convenience. This likely owes to the faster rate of travel of goods, services and information, while the systems that manage these exchange paths are perhaps still too much like those used a hundred years ago. But that's really just theory--something so complex obviously would have a lot more reasons and a lot of reasons within other ones.
There could indeed end up being some sort of financial "crash" when that disconnect gap becomes wide enough, meaning people won't be able to keep each other's symbolic valuations of actual things in configurations that align in ways allowing them to be able to properly exchange those things with each other meaningfully.
A collapse of currency, especially the dollar, gets predicted for years over and over again, but still it's somehow never gotten around to happening. If it did, how long would people suffer before they were able to set up other systems of exchange? Would trade in actual value items be something to start doing if there was some sort of overnight devaluation? Has such a thing ever been attempted? instead of just IOU slips with dead presidents printed on them? Barter Economies have happened. Why do people bother collecting gold, diamonds or other traditionally valuable objects that are purchased for thousands or millions when you can’t do anything but make jewellery from them? Isn't food, water, and practical items such as tools actually worth more than diamonds or gold? Of course water and oxygen in the air is far more important than jewellry. There's so much air around for free who would want to buy it? There's so much water around people don't pay very much for it at least in the United States. In desert regions where there isn't enough water to go round they fight wars over water. While most average Americans have never had "water wars", this does happen in other zones of the world--and could get around to happening in America once that Global warming thing gets to the point where it starts being even more inconvenient and lots more true. Economists say the price of anything depends on its Marginal utility or perhaps it's perceived utility or perceived marginal utility.
Chaos is Part of Nature, Not Some Anomaly Edit
The economic chaos the news talking-heads keep on their constant rotation is more like an ambient state of chaos in the American part of the lattice of exchanges, an overall confusion that is likely to bring itself into order the same way chaotic things in nature always do but sensible governments try to put things right before the Free market does because people’s lives are being ruined. So you can quit having nightmares about that collapsing too, at least you can if your job’s secure. Even if it happened, it would eventually unhappen again, and the whole thing would grow itself back into something or other. Of course unemployed people will have awful problems before it all unhappens.
But it’s easy to get pissed off at crooked bankers who caused the credit crunch and at George W.Bush who let it happen, since people viscerally understand being stolen from, this tends to be talked about more than all that other stuff, let's look at that for a moment.
The circumstances that brought this on have unfortunately failed to become "changed" all that much by Barack Obama, though to be fair to the guy, it would be virtually impossible for one president and his cabinet to fix it all by themselves--and do it in a year. The dumber elements of the conservative cult say we all should call Obama a liar because he said "Yes We Can", and well, look, he didn't at least it’ll take longer than 6 months. He never said he was going to be Superman and fix the whole thing. What he promised was to try. Working within the system, it's so hard for him or anyone else in his office to do anything about something as vast as even a sub-chunk of the economy.
At any rate, the things that we get told are the reasons for the money in people's bank accounts to have sharply seemed to dive into being worth less than it once was when exchanged for other stuff were mostly the antics of some lame Wall Street robber-barons. A few of these people, who are about .001 of the population yet own a lot more than half of its commodities and resources, are the same clowns who conned that "bailout" from us, and their special pals. Things may stay wonky, if these lavish asshats continue to regard the New York Stock Exchange as their own personal Las Vegas - which is one where the dice at all the crap tables are loaded and the House can make their bets win by playing by different rules than everyone else.
This is called insider trading. They do it because: 1. they can, 2. It makes them so rich they can't even wrap their own minds around the size of the numbers involved, and 3. They think "everyone is doing it" - and that this justifies it--only that's just the problem, since everyone isn't doing it, since only these A-list mega-corporazi get to have that secret information about the numbers these dice are going to roll. And then when they've run out of money themselves, they just go ahead and keep making bets with other people's money. (Like yours, maybe?)
Too bad that in this case the econo-chaos that happens in "Vegas" does not stay in Vegas-but instead, ends up going first to Washington, and then, splats out all over the damn place.
One noticeable result of all their games has been massive amounts of foreclosures. "Foreclosure" is what happens when your bank decides it can manage to get more money paid on your mortgage than you've been paying on it your whole life, and get you to sign confusing documents that allow them to legally decide "Your mortgage isn't welcome here any more" - then change it to suit them. They have to find some way to replace the kitty they so rapidly have emptied: they basically steal your house and sell it off, replacing you with someone richer, and making themselves get that way by remarkable coincidence. (A vast oversimplification: it's far more complex than that--but the important point is that homelessness is the end result of it.) Moore shows here just how bad that problem has been getting, since if enough people are emptied from a town, then there's less and fewer people remaining to run all its stores and factories...which then makes more people lose their jobs, causing yet more homes to be lost...and this just goes on and on, until there's nothing left but "For Sale" signs on every window. This is actually emptying out cities like Stockton, California.
What Can I Do About It? Edit
Expect more stupid financial nonsense to get reported until it all stops mattering enough for people to start not thinking it is going to affect them as much as the people who are called 'experts' say that it will.
When this starts happening, at some point soon after, it will begin to actually not affect them. This sounds looney, but isn't. People invest their money according to how well they think a business is going to do, so if people quit talking disaster, a LOT of it will go away, revealing the actual stuff that's broken and allowing people to go in and fix it so it isn't any more, or is less so.
Most of the reason why people are going broke these days rests on the fact people DO believe anything the news idiots tell them. Where do THEY get their data? Corporazi and the politicians they lie around in bed with, figuratively. Who else sends them press releases? The think tanks? And who controls those?
So, you should believe all this is going to affect you so much exactly why? Because even though this is not some magic thought-controlled thing that will automatically get better just because you ask it to, YOUR corner of it CAN when you do this, which affects the corners of those who transact with you, and the ripple effects expand from there.
Beware of anything it seems that those people want you to believe so much they won't stop saying it, because chances are its either a lie, a deliberate attempt to cause everyone to herded up and do something for their benefit...or both at the same time. Take note of it when you hear it for the first time, then activate the auto-ignore switch. They'll quit this crap when it stops working--so stop helping make it work for them by believing it is the sort of true that will affect YOUR world in order to serve THEIR world. Everyone won't do this at once even though it'd be really cool if they did, but you can do your part. The rest will eventually catch up...so help them do so. Create your own economic viewpoints, then sit on them and take notes of what actually happens that you can affect or control more than you once did and go from there.
And if you can do better than that, by all means, do. Literally.
No one can control the economy, but some can control perceptions. In some sense, the economy is like a game, and we might not have the ability to control the players, but to some degree we may be able to control the rules and how they're enforced. These economic downturns are often called panics or even depressions if they persist.
These words have been chosen because they describe very real behaviors of individuals which affect the economy. If a child panics, he flees and won't return. If investors panic, they flee the market and won't return. A good parent faced with this situation on the playground, will first ensure the safety of the child, second remove any immediate danger to the child, third calm the child by reassuring the child that the immediate danger (if there was one) is gone, then allow the child to play again. The good parent, in this case is manipulating not only perception, but hopefully reality.
Good government can do much the same thing in markets. Recognize the bad actors, remove the bad actors from the markets, recognize the methods and results of the bad actors, reassure investors that the bad actors and bad actions are being dealt with, and then remove the profit motive of illegal action. The economy can, to some degree can be influenced by transparency and accountability.