I expected a more neutral book explaining the general economics concepts while the author is clearly a spokesperson of the (ultra)free-trader school of thought. Nothing wrong but for a layman it's too biased.
The examples are fairly clear but economics is presented as a sort of physical system with levers that you can pull to obtain the desired effect. Everything seems too easy while real life doesn't seem so. Many variables are disregarded and there are no figures nor citations. This way it looks easy to put an argument about such a complex subject.
In the end very interesting but the economists always seem to hold the truth while the others (and the government) are wrong.
I first heard of this book when Eddie Hobbs (an Irish economist) was on the radio, lamenting the general population`s lack of economic and financial knowledge. He recommended that everyone should read this book, because although it`s over 60 years old, it is one of the most clear and concise look at basic economics.
Because it`s about basic economics, it doesn`t complicate itself by applying numerous situations together to give a comprehensive look at a particular economy, but it`s a starting point by which one can separate the situations and understand their significance. Instead of being a treatise of how we should improve our economy (although he definitely leans towards a laissez-faire free market type economy), he tries to explain how the economy works by debunking incorrect theories.
"This book is an analysis of economic fallacies that are at
last so prevalent that they have almost become a new
Each chapter in the book deals with notions that have become commonplace such as `The Blessing of Destruction`, `The Fetish of Full Employment` and `The Curse of Machinery`. He looks at the effects of these, not only on the people who are directly and immediately affected by them, but on everyone who will be at some point be indirectly affected. For examples, if a factory invests in a piece of machinery that reduces the cost of production and makes redundant some of the workers, the most obvious effect of this is the unemployed people who are left worse off. But, looking at it in its long-term effect, this will either give the factory more money to invest in the business and to expand and hire more workers in a different sector, and/or will lower the cost of the product for consumers so that they have more money to spend on other products and allow money to be passed on to other industries which can then expand.
This is clearly a very simple look at how things work without looking at the social aspect, but it is very interesting to see it from many different sides.
"Economics, as we have now seen again and again, is a
science of recognizing secondary consequences. It is
also a science of seeing general consequences. It is the
science of tracing the effects of some proposed or existing
policy not only on some special interest in the short run, but
on the general interest in the long run."
It`s not difficult to read and the examples he uses in the book make it easy to understand and apply to present economic situations. It could be read all in one go, or be dipped into now and then, as I did. The PDF version is available for free on the internet, so I would recommend downloading it and taking a look....Continua
This is the main thesis of the book, along with the assumption that:<br />"The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."</p><p>Now, I was looking for a truly introductory lesson on economics in order to understand its basis. That was not the case. Sigh....Continua