8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good Informal Overview on the subject
, 29 May 2008
This review is from: Naked Economics - Undressing the Dismal Science (Paperback)
This is a good book. I'll give it 3 stars because it basically had one premise and that is it: markets are best left alone without interference. It didn't really tell me anything I didn't know or offer any particularly brilliant insights. He reasoned a lot of his argument on the notion of achieving "utility" - we do things to achieve our own selfish ends.
He explains the way the world works, but if you are of the opinion that the world aint working too great then you'll be disappointed because Mr Wheelan does not offer any solutions. All he wants is less government regulation and greater globalisation. He would say that though - it will make him richer.
He reasons that when each country or group of people is free to specialise then they become more productive. Which is true, but there are other issues to contend with. I think the main problem I had is that he talked as if economic wealth and achieving maximum productivity is all that matters. But to me, happiness is most important. Even he concedes in the book that the rich are no happier than the less well off.
He doesn't address the fact that big business has too much power either. Or the fact that despite greater real wages than previous generations, most of the wealth is concentrated at the top. Yes we probably work less, but we still work longer and harder hours than we should, I'd contend. Again he doesn't address this.
This book introduces the general reader to how governments govern their economy in an easy to understand way and it does provide a good overview. But, if you were looking for a book to tell you what is wrong with the world then this ain't it because according to Mr Wheelan, things are going fine.
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