I'm not sure I ever realized what interesting things happened at the intersection of economics and politics -- now I'm starting to wish I had taken some econ courses as an undergrad! Could you give me an idea of where I could start reading to play catch-up on some of the terminology and the basic principles of economics?I think there are two places to start, outside of the textbook market. The classic answer to this question is Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. I remembering reading this one as I was taking undergraduate economics courses and feeling like it did a very good job of clarifying what economics was about.
A more recent book that has also been praised for its clarity and accessibility is Naked Economics by Charlie Wheelan. Charlie is an instructor at the Harris School at the University of Chicago and an alumnus and occasional visitor here at Dartmouth. He also writes a column, by the same name as the book, for Yahoo, which I also recommend.