If you dare to spend the few calories of energy it takes, the average person can increase their understanding of inflation (and thus economics) once they understand the concept of "flooding" a market with money. Once you comprehend that money has no value and if you shovel a ton of it into a "market" with a finite amount of goods it only results inflation (not production), you've promoted yourself above nearly 95% of the population in terms of economic knowledge.
However, while most economic focus is on money and the markets it inflates, there are other forms of "currency" that have similar bubbly (and disastrous) effects on various countries and populations. And military support is one such example.
We (at least here on Cappy Cap) all know the effects of flooding a market with money. The stock market is overvalued by about 60% because of mindless-zombie-retirement dollars and QE money seeping in through buy backs and institutional investors. College tuition, also a bubble, has increased in lock step with government grants, scholarships, student loans, 529 plans and all the other sources of financing the sheeple use to pay for increasingly worthless degrees. The housing and Dotcom bubbles the same. Investors, banks, lenders and borrowers all flooded that market. But take that exact same concept of individual dollars flooding a market and replace it with guns, weaponry, and military support.
And now you can see the "bubble" that exists in the middle East.
Between the US, China, and Russia (and for various political reasons) the Mid East has been flooded with a ton of weapons and military wares for decades. Add to that mix a religion where a significant percentage of its followers is radicalized. Also add to the mix that two general sects within the group loathe each other. And in the end you have a region full of wars, violence, murder, mayhem, etc. However, ask yourself the question, would it be as bad had the powers that be just not involved themselves in the first place?
This is not a criticism of guns or various countries' policies in the Mid East, but merely an economic observation that the EXACT same thing that is happening in the college bubble or stock market is also happening in the Mid East through ISIS, Iraq, Syria, Israel, etc. Just instead of inflation and higher prices being the unit of measurement by which people suffer, that unit of measurement is instead death.
The mathematical/economic solution is a simple one - simply stop supplying the area with guns and weapons. ISIS would not have existed without US support and training, not to mention all the fine equipment and military grade hardware we left in the Iraqi's hands for them to take. Lord knows how many people would have been saved had Russia not flooded the region with AK 47's. And over time these weapons would wear out to the point of uselessness, and they would forced to resort to poorer and inferior weapons with less killing capabilities. You would not so much get peace in the Mid East, but deaths would go down and maybe a modicum of safety and stability would ensue.
Alas, something tells me the ego of raging Shiite and Sunni are very much like the egos out of suburbanite teenage masses who view college as their birthright. And sadly, the pushers of both weapons and worthless college degrees are more than happy to provide the supply.
Oh well, Enjoy the Decline!