Customer Reviews

7
4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
6
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
1
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2009
Many reviews treat this book as if it were simply an "Economics" textbook. It is nothing of the sort. True, many important economic terms are explained and many economic concepts are illustrated with illuminating examples, but, at bottom, this is a powerful argument for a free market economy and a small (if not minimal) state.

This book expounds the economic system that supports the political system advocated and defended in Sowell's many other works, including "Preferential Policies" and "The Conflict of Visions" to name but two. It does the job by highlighting the unintended consequences that so often follow when governments try to do more than their inherently limited knowledge will allow.

This book is not a balanced presentation of the arguments (are any of them?), but far more one sided and polemical than any textbook could afford to be.

So; Not a textbook, but rather an antidote to the often well-meant but ill-focused and ultimately useless waste of money that passes for policy in much of the developed world. Sowell does sometimes labour the point, but the title is "Basic Economics" and for all that the book is still very readable. A reader can dip in to it here and there for Sowell's thoughts on particular topics or read it cover-to-cover. Depending on their own pre-conceptions they will emerge with either a reinforced arsenal of arguments or a severely challenged worldview.

Just don't expect a graph of the Phillips Curve.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2008
An excellent book if, like me, you don't know much about economics. Explains alot of concepts in depth and clearly. Can get a bit long winded at times, but you come away well informed of different ecomomic principles.

Contains some excellent bashing of politicians and politics.

Gets five stars for clarity and content.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Economics is at the same time a fascinating and rather complex subject. It is fascinating since it touches on so many aspects of our lives, and it is complex due to the highly technical analysis that is oftentimes required to be mastered in order for Economics to be fully appreciated. This technical complexity oftentimes obscures rather simple principles that underlie most economic phenomena. The well known relationship between a supply and demand is one of those, and a good example of a simple concept that is oftentimes misunderstood, ignored, or downright overlooked in everyday circumstances, especially when political considerations are at play.

Thomas Sowell begins the book with one of the most insightful definition of what is economics. In this view, economics is nothing but a study of limited resources for which there are alternative uses. In heaven, there would be unlimited resources; in hell no alternative uses. In the real world we need to take into account the limitations that are imposed on us by the facts. Each use of a product or a resource prevents other viable uses. Economics is ultimately the science of tradeoffs, and it helps us with making the most rational decisions about those tradeoffs.

This book is primarily aimed at general public and its aim is to make this public literate in terms of thinking and understanding economic processes. It is a very readable account, and it contains neither technical jargon nor sophisticated mathematics. All of the examples are taken from everyday experience or the major stories that have been making the news in the recent decades. Hopefully, the book will raise the level of basic literacy and inculcate us from the demagoguery that often accompanies political talk on economic issues.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2009
This is an excellent book that's very well written and easy to understand. It's a must read for every budding economist!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 18 October 2012
If you never had any previous exposure to economics principles and you wish to know more about the subject, then this is the right book for you. In my opinion, it is really a masterpiece on the basics of economics, where the few underlying principles are explained and supported by plenty of facts and data. A must read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2009
It explains in simple examples how alternative uses of already scarce resources affect the allocation of these resources(and vice versa) and affect prices of products and services(and the other way round)and how these relationships can be applied to explaining almost any related economic developments.
It also explains in simple terms how a relatively uncontrolled market will regulate itself price wise to a certain extent,and this might go unnoticed to an uninformed regular consumer like me. Thomas Sowell is a hero.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2013
This book is one of the most disingenuous and tendentious books I have read in some time. Thomas Sowell is clearly a man with an axe to grind - and boy can he grind. In the crazy world of Thomas Sowell the real world behaves just like the text book world of general equilibrium theory. In this world prices serve only to clear markets (there is no information content); competition is 'perfect', and insofar as monopoly or oligopoly does exist - you guessed it - it's the Government's fault and can best be eliminated by - you guessed it again - the market. In the crazy world of Tommy everyone is rational (we're not - have you heard of behavioural economics Thomas?); everyone has perfect information (we don't, in fact that is the very reason we have brands); and, above all, there are no economic rents - in fact economic rent isn't even mentioned in the index presumably because all rents get competed away in Tommy's perfect market place. Of course, the great thing about economic rent is that it can be appropriated by workers, by Governments - or even by capitalists for that matter - without changing the economic incentives on anyone. Did you get that Tommy? This means that taxation can be re-distributive and that unions can bargain for higher pay, and that capitalists can earn super normal profits without affecting the efficiency of the economy as a whole. So the distribution of income turns out to be a political question as well as an economic question after all. There are many other deliberate distortions in this book too numerous to mention. Don't read it, above all don't buy it - otherwise I fear you will be guilty, like me, of the misallocation of scare resources for which there are alternative uses. Indeed, given that I think the calorific value of this book is higher than the education value, you know what the cast iron laws of economics require me to do with it...
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy
Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell (Hardcover - 18 Dec. 2014)
£25.63

Basic Economics 4th Edition
Basic Economics 4th Edition by Thomas Sowell (Hardcover - 20 Jan. 2011)
£25.00

Economics in One Lesson
Economics in One Lesson by H Hazlitt (Paperback - 20 May 2010)
£10.68
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.