marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote in bookish,

Basic Economics

Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide To The Economy by Thomas Sowell

Exactly what it describes.  The basics of economics for the general audience.  Starting out with the observation that we may think we don't own beachfront property because of its price.  The reality is -- we don't own beachfront property because there's a lot more people who'd like to own it than there is property to be owned.  Price is just the way to sort things out.

Full of concepts and concrete examples.  For instance, in the Soviet Union, they usually used about two and a half more metal to produce the same amount of consumer goods as the United States; state planning meant there was no motive to economize.  Similarly, rotten fruit would be packed in with good fruit, because a Soviet farmer had no motive to prevent spoilage.  The rise of the mail-order catalog, and how the man who persuaded Sears to open department stores to supplement the catalog was originally working for Montgomery Ward, where he got fired for expressing the same notion.  How the founders of Sears, Montgomery Ward, and J. C. Penney all started working for a living at an age that would be illegally young nowadays.  And much, much, much more.
Tags: author: s, genre: non-fiction, review

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