One of the oldest mottoes of the workers' education movement is "Knowledge is Power". For trade unions, an understanding of economics is one of the essential forms of knowledge. This manual is published in the belief thath the first step in introducing workers to the study of the subject of economics must be to prove that it is of direct relevance to their working lives, and one which as trade unionists they would do well to investigate. The manual thereofre starts with a consideration of the workers' standart of living, in terms of jobs, pay, prices and social benefits, and then moves on to the subject of workers and enterprises, before approaching what may appear to be the more remote subject of the national and international framework within which workers and employers earn their living. The book is written, as far as possible, in everyday language, and where abstract economic terms are used their sense is clearly explained in the text and in an appended glossary of common economic terms.
Reading this manual will not make any workers into economists, but it should make them better trade unionists. They should be better able to understand the economic order in which they and their fellow members work; they should be better equipped to deal with fallacious arguments designed to blind them with science; they should be able to serve their unions in a variety of ways where economic issues are relevant to the subject under consideration. Not least, they should find that their self-confidence has increased, not only because they have widened their experience, but also because the manual should have led them to appreciate that they were already familiar with many basic ideas in the field, and were merely unable to give them their proper name - "elasticity", for example.