I find economics interesting. Formally, I studied the subject for six years, but only once have I been amazed by it. On that occasion, economics went from being a science to magic.
Nine years ago, my teacher explained—for the first time—the benefits of international trade (imports and exports), and the response that filled the classroom was "Wow, really?"
Up until this point, I knew international trade was important. I lived in the UK then, and I understood that without trade, I would not be able to buy bananas from the supermarket—the fruit wasn't grown in the country because of the climate. The UK imported bananas from countries with warmer weather.
International trade gave me variety.
But the explanation in class that day took my appreciation of trade to another level. I will illustrate what I learnt in three tables.
The first table shows a world where we assume there are