- Audio CD: 17 pages
- Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; 4th edition (28 Dec. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1441778632
- ISBN-13: 978-1441778635
- Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 5.1 x 15.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
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.
A lot more is offered here than dry, dispassionate economic analysis, however. Sowell's discussions of what seemingly makes economic sense often flows into consideration of how economic policies are exploited by individuals for political gain and power.
It's worth highlighting, however, that Sowell certainly harks from Milton Friedman's 'government is the problem' school of thought founded upon the necessity of the free-market being allowed to work it's magic. Basic Economics is definitely slanted to this end and should not be viewed as some form of textbook attempting to give a seemingly objective discussion of economic topics as if both sides of the argument are perfectly valid. As with most things, they aren't...but it's always worth knowing which horse an author is backing when they make a particular case from the outset.
However, there are two issues I have with the book:
- The first is the desperate desire to "sell" free-market economics, based on anecdote, and with negative coverage of all forms of regulation or alternative economic models
- The second is the amount of time the author spends talking about how important economics is, how it is vital that people use it to solve the worlds problems (or rather, use it to realise that they can't). I'd much rather he talking about economic theories and models!
Contains some excellent bashing of politicians and politics.
Gets five stars for clarity and content.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the most inspiring reads I have come across in a long time. It is insightful. It is not dry, filled with stark facts and figures with sometimes-confusing bar... Read morePublished 9 months ago by rojovasq
Very impressive. Radically changed my view of economics and the world.Published 10 months ago by Soteris
The work of a master, both one of the best economists around, and a great professor, who knows how to explain economy to all kinds of readers.Published 11 months ago by Vladimir Weissman
This is an utterly fantastic read. Should be required reading in schools, although doubtful. Is probably deemed subversive and dangerous by left leaning institutions, like a modern... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Pete
Excellent book, for those who want to understand economics but don't have time nor understand the jargon. Read morePublished 16 months ago by A. A. Mohamud
This is not a guide to Basic Economics. It is a very one sided proponent of free market ideology, which is fine, but the title is very, very misleading. Read morePublished 17 months ago by John J. Waters