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Basic Economics

Basic Economics

A Common Sense Guide to the Economy

eBook - 2015
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In this fifth edition of Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell revises and updates his popular book on common sense economics, bringing the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Drawing on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history, Sowell explains basic economic principles for the general public in plain English. Basic Economics, which has now been translated into six languages and has additional material online, remains true to its core principle: that the fundamental facts and principle.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, [2015]
Edition: 5th ed
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780465056842
Branch Call Number: EBOOK OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1290 pages)
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May 29, 2021

Shows how the demagoguery of many politicians and activists alike is at best misleading and at worst destructive for the economy. An enlightening and entertaining read. Highly recommended.

I have to admire the copywriter above, who says the book explains economics "in plain jargon." The book should be pretty confusing, then.

Oct 17, 2018

Well-written libertarian propaganda with some useful beginning economics information.

Thomas Sowell will always make the libertarian position the right position. He'll do this via cherry-picking his data, misrepresenting facts, or (to be fair, rarely) just plain bad logic. However, he'll do so in an engaging way and also provide valid criticisms of economic systems he disagrees with and as well as real examples of capitalism doing a good job.

A particular egregious example is his long attempt to paint unions as bad, and one example of them being bad is companies offering higher pay to employees not in a union. He paints this as "if unions were good why are companies willing to pay a premium to avoid them" whereas I took it away as "the existence of unions help even non-union employees gain higher wages thanks to the mere threat of labor leverage". There are similar problems with his argument against minimum wage, the wage gap, monopolies. etc.

An example of something I really liked from the book was the concept of "systemic" vs "individual" causes. He talks about a lot of cool systems. His abstractions in general were pretty good, and as someone not deeply read in economics, it makes me want to dig deeper. Starting Capital in the 21st Century now, and will go from there, I guess.

Feb 04, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this and now feel I know something about economics. The book does what it claims presenting economics with cogent arguments. It should be required reading for all voters. I think Thomas Sowell is an American national treasure and its too bad he never threw his hat into the political arena, lord knows we could use his common sense up here in the Great White North eh.

Oct 10, 2017

I am not a reader and plowed through this in less than a week. While the book is 600+ pages, Sowell moves rather quickly from point to point and example to example. If you are interested in common sense economics you will find this very interesting. If you have already studied economics this will challenge what you believe. Sowell makes a compelling case that free markets, capitalism and individual freedom have created more wealth, more opportunity and more mobility (from poor to wealthy and visa versa) than any other system in history.

Apr 08, 2017

What are the intentions of, and incentives created by: minimum wages, rent controls, and generous EI benefits? If I told you the answers might surprise you, would you want to know more?

Analyzing such questions and discussing just exactly how the heck this whole 'economy' thing is even working at all, this book is either an excellent, meticulously constructed one-stop introduction into thinking rationally about macro-economics, or a (rather large) piece of neoliberal propaganda.

I leave it up to the reader to make this decision as an exercise.


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Apr 08, 2017

ryanwillock thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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