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Most lawmakers lack economics or business degrees, study reveals

Eight out of 10 Congressional members do not have an academic background in economics or business, according to a new report released by the Employment Policies Institute.

The institute has launched a new project called “Defeat the Debt,” according to TambaPress.com. Its findings revealed that only 8.4 percent of federal lawmakers have an economics degree and 13.7 percent have a business or accounting degree.

The degrees held by the majority of Congress – 55.7 percent – are government-related or humanities studies.

“Members of Congress are expected to provide answers for our country’s spending and economic crises,” Michael Saltsman, a research fellow at EPI, said, according to TambaPress.com. “But it appears many of them might have difficulty answering Econ 101 questions.”

Saltsman said that just a basic knowledge of economics would allow Congress to understand what is at stake in their decisions.

“Your first couple weeks of economics class you learn a lot of scarcity and trade offs,” Saltsman said, according to TambaPress.com. “You have people with unlimited wants and desires and a limited number of resources to satisfy that…These are the sorts of trade offs that Congress is going to have to make when talking about the debt and talking about the economy.”

According to the study, 24 members of Congress do not have a specific degree.

Lawmakers with advanced degrees related to economics or business were classified according to the advanced degree for the purposes of the study.

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