On the surface, the question might seem beside the point. Economics is the study of economic transactions between people and groups and politics is the practice of governing. But with a closer look, we can see that the differences are rather superficial after all and that the two are closer than most lead on.
To be sure, politics (the practice of governing) is only possible when some authority is granted over a people’s economic resources. As outlined in the chapter ‘The Costs of Transferring Wealth, all forms of government action amount to transfers of wealth. Whenever a politician, government, or activist aims to make some political action, it is always based in an economic foundation and seeks to alter the economic situation in the end.
Likewise, when one makes economic decisions, the underlying premise is that he is politically free to do so. The ability to make economic decisions is the ability to make political ones. And when one does make those economic decisions, one is making a political decision with regard to the persons and resources involved in the action.
This is a crucial concept to grasp because, as Milton Friedman eloquently posed in the open of ‘Capitalism and Freedom’, there is a sizable and fashionable contingent of thinkers and voters who believe it is possible for the government to shape the economy by whatever means without affecting the political freedoms of the participants in that economy. It is assumed that progressive income taxes can be levied, subsidies granted, and monetary policy enacted to better the economy or fiscal standing of individuals and groups without lessening their ability to behave as they see fit, speak freely, and act on their beliefs.
Ultimately, the question must be asked, if a political condition does not allow for economic liberty, can it be called free in any meaningful way?