The difficulty of economics is, indeed at a high level considering that there is a drill on models and computations. This focus reveals that the analytical aspect of economics that we are applying is based on current existing models that we have to work around with. However, it is not complicated as to integrate the intricacies of its liberal roots. Although there are touches of it, it isnt drilled in too deep.
The role of critical thinking is highly important and for economics to weigh more on models and computations to analyze the economy is a little detrimental on the part of course itself. This is because many of todays economic problems are not entirely reliant on predictable circumstances that models and computations simplify the world to be. It is therefore more instructional and beneficial for students to give a little more emphasis on the liberal arts side, forcing students to think out of the box.
Many of the critical thinking skills that economics has given me largely relies on the fact that every issue about our current economic state makes me think about what economic models to use. However, as an independent thinker, I also believe there is more that policymakers and todays economists can give rather than recycling old methods and using old analyses. As an economics major, I feel that the class has taught me that there are a myriad of solutions waiting to be explored and there is certainly no hard and fast rule to come up with a solution.