- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 23 hours and 51 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 28 Dec. 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004HGHLWI
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Basic Economics, Fourth Edition: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy Audiobook – Unabridged
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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.
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.
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