Here's why economics matters. To me at least, it's not so much the pursuit of a perfect system in which the world can run its resources, because I doubt that there can ever be such a thing, but it's the fact that economics shapes reality because it concerns every layperson. It's the reality of who's getting what part of the pie and how is that part of the pie attained. Am I going to work for it? Am I going to receive it through welfare? Is it going to be taken from me? These questions are going to be answered by the form of politics that my country employs.
Economics, and what kind of economy a tribe, a kingdom or a state is going to have, is the driving force and the legitimacy behind power and politics. Politics is power, because it refers to governance and the legal use of force, and power can only be gained when one controls resources.
The history of man is peppered with battles that have been waged for the attainment of resources. Modern history has seen us shift the basis of power from a physical one to one of economic ideology. The fight between the Democrats and Republicans is essentially due to the difference in economic management - more socialist (and left-wing) or more conservative (and right wing)? The cold war was a battle between capitalism and communism. Americans are dissatisfied with Obama because of the inadequate validity of his economic agenda which have turned out to be rather expensive, ineffective and socialist, which is disappointing in today's world where we are still trying to move on from the Keynesian era of full employment as the goal. Politicians are battling it out every election day to promise better economic packages because this is what matters to the people most - how much less will you be taxed?
Politics exists because power drives the world. Power is about the ability to gain control over people. The control of people is gained through the manipulation of the economy, because people depend on resources.
That's why economics is important, because if everyone knew to some degree the impact that the economy of our state has on our lives, then we would know how to revolt, how to vote and how to decide what kind of country we want to have and live in. We would know the extent of our rights and how to differentiate between a government that is serving us well and a government that is just pulling political bull. We would know if we would rather live in a competitive society or one that redistributes wealth. We would look at the ideologies expounded by our leaders with more enlightened eyes. We would know where on earth we're going.