Customer Review

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Right-wing, US-centric, old-school economics, 21 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Life (Paperback)
Being a more left-leaning person this book managed to make me raise my eyebrows several times.

Landsburg's thinking is a prime example of old-school economics where the intrinsic value of nature and finite amount of natural resources is completely ignored. In fact, he identifies environmentalism as "a force-fed potpourri of myth, superstition, and ritual that has much in common with the least reputable varieties of religious Fundamentalism".

To mention just a couple of examples:

Landsburg advocates keeping consumption of meat, paper and other goods at high levels to sustain the companies that produces them. It seems that the environmental effects of excessive consumption have no weight in his 'logical, science-driven economics'.

On species extinction, Landsburg's thinks that we can "pick up a lot of valuable knowledge by wiping out a few species to see what happens"! He would be sorry, though, if lions were wiped out as he has "fond memories of them from the zoo or from childhood storybooks". Therefore Landsburg would be ready to pay $50/year to preserve them, thus making economic sense to conserve the species.

On air pollution, he sees it a "self-evident opportunity" for the US to move its high-pollution industries to poor countries to improve the lives of not only Americans, but "everybody" as apparently wealthy people "can afford to sacrifice some income for the luxury of clean air, while people in poorer countries are happy (!) to breathe inferior air in exchange for the opportunity to improve their incomes".

Right-wing, conservative anti-environmentalists would probably love this book.
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T. JENNI
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Location: Finland

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