For those who haven't been through a certain college curriculum, the subject of economics is about "the allocation of scarce resources", and is basically a social science (like psychology, sociology, and a bunch of other majors ending in "ology") with ten tons of math unnaturally shoved where it doesn't belong. This book thankfully keeps the formulas and graphs to a minimum, instead focusing on explaining and philosophizing about a few key economic concepts. I thought it did so in a way that's pretty thoughtful and engaging, with the welcome oversight of a social conscience.
The first, more interesting half of this sub-200-page book explores the concept of economic efficiency, defining/debating stuff like Utilitarianism (which basically argues that feeding the poor with the rich's money is a net good for society since a dollar means more to the poor), Pareto efficiency (argues against that), supply and demand, taxes, and income redistribution. It gets especially thought-provoking near the end, i.e. Chapter 7 gets into how massive inequality can ruin society through consumption alone. How? Because it becomes more rational/profitable for sellers to cater to only a tiny handful of super-rich instead of masses of average people, which leads to consequences like a dearth of real estate in NYC (because the rich demand space-hogging mega apartments), airplanes with no legroom, lower availability of doctors and medicines, and even crappier rock concerts (cuz some CEO just hands Elton John a million to show up at his house instead). He also argues against popular notions like higher taxes discouraging CEOs to work or rent control hurting the real estate market, and expends lots of effort discrediting Pareto in general.
The second half is about wages and employment, exploring things like the Value of Marginal Product, how CEOs get away with earning $11,000,000 on average (answer: because the loss to each shareholder is too small for any of them to care, and because of the inherent difficulty in technically proving that the CEO didn't actually contribute that much value, even though everyone knows it), how minimum wages don't hurt the economy, and how lowering taxes doesn't help it. All the while, he reminds us that the economy does NOT have a self-correcting mechanism in times of failure, and that there's really no such thing as "the economy" anyway -- which can be empirically robust even when most of the people in it are just scraping by. If you're sensing that this Moshe Adler guy's a Democrat, you'd be right (he even slips in a jab at creationism on the last page, heh heh), but I thought his arguments were pretty convincing, even if I occasionally got lost in his hypothetical examples.
Pick this up if you're interested in an econ book that won't put you to sleep.