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Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 272 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Amazon Review

A conservative, prosperous American journalist gadding around the world laughing at all the ways less successful nations screw up their economy--this might not sound like the recipe for a great read, unless you're Rush Limbaugh, but if that journalist is P.J. O'Rourke you can be sure that you'll enjoy the ride even if you don't agree with the politics. Although Eat the Rich is subtitled A Treatise on Economics, O'Rourke spends relatively few pages tackling the complexities of monetary theory. He's much happier when flying from Sweden to Hong Kong, then on to Tanzania and Moscow, gleefully recording every economic goof he can find. When he visits post-Soviet Russia and finds a country that is as messed up by capitalism as it was by communism, O'Rourke mixes jokes about black- market shoes with disturbing insights into a nation on the verge of collapse. P.J. O'Rourke is more than a humorist, he's an experienced international journalist with a lot of frequent-flyer miles, and this gives even his funniest riffs on the world's problems a startling ring of truth.

Book Description

In his most ambitious book yet, P.J. O’Rourke takes on a subject that is dear to us all – wealth. What is it? How do you get it? Or, as P.J. would say, ‘Why do some places prosper and thrive, while others just suck?’

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1007 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New Ed edition (11 Nov. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0066551X4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #158,205 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
PJ O'Rourke is one of the funniest men to walk the surface of this planet, if indeed his feet ever actually touch the ground. maybe he is just one of the most humourous men in low earth orbit. Whatever.
Despite his politics, he is a very human writer. Right wingers are frequently prone to righteous puritanicalism, O'Rourke, however, enjoys drugs, sex and rock and roll as much as the next person, and more than many.
In 'Eat The Rich', he tries to do what many have tried before: make sense of economics. And he almost manages. I now understand derivatives, know the difference between a stock and a bond (you can be tied to one by the other, and then pilloried for making such poor puns). But, ultimately, PJ gives up the ghost deciding that sense cannot be made of something so abstract, obtuse and plain nonsensical as Economics.
To his credit, PJ never allows the subject matter to deter him from his primary aim, to write an urbane, amusing and witty book. Very, very, very funny. Eat The Rich has a large marginal propensity to make me laugh. You should subscribe to the law of supply and demand a copy now.
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Format: Hardcover
PJ O'Rourke sets off to find out the real answer to economics. This is 'Why some places are rich, whilst others just suck.' He looks firstly at Wall Street 'good capitalism' and says that it is because government takes a backseat that it has done so well. Also on the 'good capitalism' side is Hong Kong. This is the place where the 'nothing needs to be done' attitude has worked. PJ says that the people of Hong Kong have done it all themselves, made everything from nothing. He then looks at 'bad socialism' and naturally stops first at Cuba. He says that government interference and control of the economy has wrecked life in Cuba. Castro claims that their is no unemployment in Cuba. PJ notices hundreds of people hanging around on streetcorners and wonders what there jbb is. He shows a faint glimmer of hope though. Those areas that are not under control (mainly just restaurants with a capacity of less than 12!).
Looking at Russia, he shows how not to reform an economy (if there is one!). He points out that Communism has 'beaten out enterprise' from the people, whose mindset is not to take control of their lives.
His conclusion is that both systems are messy and far from ideal. But at least under capitalism the supermarket is full of food, and your not shot if you dont buy from the approved supplier.
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Format: Paperback
In a couple of paragraphs, O' Rourke explains international currency (dealing): '...it keeps governments "honest"...'

So now I understand, it is all so simple, so why don't economic text books say it? It is because, as O' Rourke explains, economics is based on the undefinable: the value of things.

He shows how destructive centralised control from real-world examples not just in communism but also in democracies finishing with the astonishing case of Hong Kong that has, virtually zero government interference (and no natural resources either apart from the Chinese mindset).

The book is written, unselfconsciously, as a "travel guide" with easy humour.

If you want to know what "the money multiplier is" then don't buy this book, get a text book. If you want a laugh and are interested in how the world really works then buy this book.
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Format: Paperback
The "Treatise on Economics" promised on the front cover is rather mis-leading; the economic analysis in this book is frequently very sloppy. However the crisp, humorous observations of Albanian/Swedish/Cuban/Russain/Tanzanian and Chinese life are splendid. Very entertaining, light-hearted, and enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't be put off by the terrible adverts for British Airways in which PJ O'Rourke appears. reading this book will disabuse you of any notion that he was responsible for the scripts.
This book is funny, insightful, charming and entertaining. It is also a remarkably consise and sharply observed idiot's guide to economics, but that it is not to say that it is written by an idiot or is intended for idiots.
PJ seems genuinely to put his libertarian prejudices aside and then examines economic theories, their foundations and effects in a sharp and jargon free style, featuring what seems to be absolute honesty and a complete lack of vanity, exposing the fact that economics is merely a means of measuring human nature, and neatly and logically arriving back at a position of profound libertarianism.
Although this is only my second PJ book, I have never read a word of his that I've thought was ill placed, ill judged or wrong. I only wish he had run for mayor of London instead of New York.
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Format: Paperback
One hears about PJ O'Rourke, but the first exposure is a pleasure indeed. Opinionated, irreverent, self-effacing, often conservative and liberal at once, the author examines wealth and seeks to find some connections. His observations of the world are hysterical and, often, very accurate. Buy this book
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Format: Paperback
In this book ORourke takes a very entertaining look at world economics, as he travels to different countries and discusses theiur economic systems and why they do, or do not, work. The chapters have headings like 'Good Socialism: Sweden' 'Bad Socialism' Cuba' How to make nothing from everything: Tanzania' 'How to Make Everything from Nothing: Hong Kong'. This book would be particularly enlightening for anyone who still cherishes a romantic view of Castro's Cuba, his descriptions of what life is like there are absolutely hair-raising. I get a bit restive reading the chapter on Hong Kong, as O'Rourke criticises the British for handing the island back to China. I bet I know what he would have said if we hadn't though, he would have said something like "Oh, you British still think you've got an empire, trying to hang onto your colonies" etc. But that aside, this is an enlightening and fascinating book.
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