on 4 July 2015
For those readers who believe everything they read in the mainstream press and hear on the corporate TV news, reading this book will be a waste of time.
But for anyone who is wondering why a gallon of petrol cost 50p 40 years ago, but now costs £1.20 for just a litre, or who can't understand why even on a decent wage he cannot afford a house whereas his dad easily managed it (and looked after a non-working wife and a couple of kids as well!), time reading this book will be well spent. The same can be said for anyone who wonders why economies suffer from recurring crashes despite the fact that governments employ thousands of economists whose ostensible role is to ensure continuous prosperity: whatever happened to "no more boom and bust"?
Starting from first principles, the authors explain the fundamentals of economics, dealing with concepts like capital, investment and interest. Having established the basic framework, they then move onto more involved ideas like central banking, inflation and the mechanics of recessions, with "takeaway" boxes stressing the key points. Those familiar with Austrian economics will not find their conclusions very surprising; those who are new to the subject and have approached this book with an open mind may find that they never see economic issues in quite the same way again.
As the cover suggests, the tone of the book is light hearted and the language used is simple, but the underlying scholarship is never compromised. This is not a lengthy book, and could easily be read in one sitting on a rainy afternoon (or during a sleepless night with the flu!), with decent sized text broken up a profusion of cheerful cartoons avoiding reader fatigue.
Of course there are one or two minor quibbles - for example one of the takeaway boxes entirely repeats the content of an earlier page - but overall there is a great deal to like and nothing of any importance to criticise. Overall, highly recommended.