Economic Naturalist's Field Guide: Common Sense Principles for Troubled Times Hardcover – 5 May 2009
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“Witty, compelling, and sensible, these essays should resonate in this era of economic turmoil.”
“Frank’s writing sparkles, and the topics, which include health care and the subprime-mortgage crisis, are timely.”
About the Author
Robert H. Frank is the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and Professor of Economics at Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management and a regular economics columnist for the New York Times. His previous books include Falling Behind, The Winner-Take-All Society, Luxury Fever, and Principles of Economics (with Ben Bernanke). Frank's many awards include the Apple Distinguished Teaching Award and the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. He lives in Ithaca, New York.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Be aware that this book is the same content that the one named : The Return of The Economic Naturalist: How Economics Helps Make Sense of Your World.
I bought 2 books with different name but same content ;-)
Here is one example of the economic principles espoused. He responds to the criticism that the government is wasteful by stating private citizens can be wasteful too. He then uses an example of some extremely wealthy individuals throwing ridiculously extravagant birthday parties for their children.
I would certainly agree that many people spend lots of money on things that I would not. If it is their money then it is their right. How does this make government waste right?
The book represents the author's plan for a planned society of mediocrity based on HIS value system.
Some of the other reviews here take a highly negative view of the book - but basically their arguments seem to boil down to the politically simplistic ideologies such as tax 'bad'. Not considering why there are taxes, or how they might be used. Franks books looks at taxes through the lens of incentives - sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad.
A collection of columns Frank has written, this book gives short arguments in favor of Frank's opinions on old and new political debates, with most of the justifications for the arguments ostensibly from economics.
Perhaps it's the length restriction on the columns, but almost all of them come off as a collection of hasty generalizations and shoddy reasoning. For example, several times he justifies higher taxes on the rich because otherwise they would just spend their money on something frivolous like a new yacht. There may be lots of good justifications for taxes, but this isn't one of them - yacht companies employ people just like other companies do. Even when I agreed with Frank's conclusions, I felt embarrassed with the reasoning he used to arrive at them.
There are a few flashes of insight, and nuggets of wisdom interspersed, but ultimately this book seemed like a cheap cash in on the success of the last one.
The book consists of a collection of prior articles, organized by general themes and woven together with additional narrative. The book should not be looked at as "the definitive word" on the topics in question; indeed, Frank himself prefaces his article on the AOL/Time Warner merger with the caution that it was the worst piece he'd ever written. However, the book does take a look at various economic topics in an accessible an engaging way, and presents interesting perspectives that would probably be new to most.
Those with a strong ideological tilt in either direction will probably not appreciate the book, but it does provide an interesting and engaging look at a variety of economic concepts in play in the real world.
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