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It Didn't Have to Be This Way: Why Boom and Bust Is Unnecessary-and How the Austrian School of Economics Breaks the Cycle (Culture of Enterprise) Hardcover – January 7, 2013
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“I am blown away by how much ground Harry Veryser covers in this important book, and how skillfully he covers it. This book will give you a quick yet solid grounding in the recent financial crisis, U.S. and world economic history, the history of economic thought, and more. I strongly recommend it.”
“Too much of mainstream economics is rooted in dubious presumptions and outright error; at the same time it’s adorned with equations that provide a thin veneer of mathematical precision. If the insights of the Austrian School had come to dominate the profession in the past century as I expect they will in the future, many calamities could have been avoided. Harry Veryser has given us a book that not only tells all of us what we need to learn but also provides economists with truths they should never have forgotten.”
“Harry Veryser has written an excellent book not only on Austrian economics but also on a century and a half of economic history. His is a penetrating analysis of the most recent economic crisis. Professor Veryser’s careful analysis of the case for the gold standard is, in itself, outstanding scholarship.”
“Professor Harry Veryser is in the forefront of teaching sound economics in the tradition of the Austrian School. In this much-anticipated book, he powerfully demonstrates how much further advanced the United States and the world would be if our leaders had followed the grand principles of sound money and free markets. I love every page of this book.”
“Excellent . . . I highly recommend this book.” —RON PAUL
Why is the boom-and-bust cycle so persistent? Why did economists fail to predict the economic meltdown that began in 2007—or to pull us out of the crisis more quickly? And how can we prevent future calamities?
Mainstream economics has no adequate answers for these pressing questions. To understand how we got here, and how we can ensure prosperity, we must turn to an alternative to the dominant approach: the Austrian School of economics.
Unfortunately, few people have even a vague understanding of the Austrian School, despite the prominence of leading figures such as Nobel Prize winner F. A. Hayek, author of The Road to Serfdom. Harry C. Veryser corrects that problem in this powerful and eye-opening book. In presenting the Austrian School’s perspective, he reveals why the boom-and-bust cycle is unnatural and unnecessary.
Veryser tells the fascinating (but frightening) story of how our modern economic condition developed. The most recent recession, far from being an isolated incident, was part of a larger cycle that has been the scourge of the West for a century—a cycle rooted in government manipulation of markets and currency. The lesson is clear: the devastation of the recent economic crisis—and of stagflation in the 1970s, and of the Great Depression in the 1930s—could have been avoided. It didn’t have to be this way.
Economics is not a mysterious science, Veryser shows. As the Austrian School teaches, it is simply the study of human action. Mainstream economics has failed because it has forgotten this fundamental truth. Economists have tried to put economics on a par with hard sciences like physics, reducing everything to numbers. But their complex mathematical models and cherished theories have only contributed to economic collapse.
As the debate rages over the role of government in the economy, Harry Veryser presents the proper alternative to government interventionist approaches that have proved so ineffective. Too long unappreciated, the Austrian School of economics reveals the crucial conditions for a successful economy and points the way to a free, prosperous, and humane society.
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Top Customer Reviews
The austrian theories have been refined since the time of Menger, but unlike other schools of economics have not required the dramatic revisions that Keynesians have required. Professor Veryser has presented the history and basic theory of the Austrian School in an enjoyable and readable way, while also reminding us of the proper place of economics. As Professor Veryser states economics is a practical science, and therefore the normal pretensions of the field are not warranted. Economics will not have, and nor should it strive for the precision of measurement, but instead as an explanatory science which then gives the wisdom for further prudential choices of how we allocate our resources.
This is an important book. For those who seek a better understanding of economics this book is clearly written and is accessible. For those who are making public policy the wisdom of the Austrians as laid out in this book presents a strong argument for free enterprise and clearly shows the evils of monetary manipulation. And for those who have grown tired of the petty bickering of mainstream economics as they try and fail to explain the world as it is, this book represents your oasis in the desert.
If you are already well versed in the ASE, or if you wish more definitive answers and representations of the Austrian theories and approach to economics, this book is not for you. You are better off going to mises.org and reading the staple works like Human Action by Mises or Rothbard's magnum opus, Man, Economy and State. There are also other collections that deal exclusively with ASE business cycle theory. I highly recommend the socialism calculation debate and Hans de Soto's book Socialism, Economic Calculation and Entrepreneurship as a great primer. If you desire a more meatier book on Austrian cycle theory and the differences between Keynesian, monetary theory and the ASE I recommend "The Structure of Production" by Mark Skousen. This book has all the detail that "It Didnt Have to Be This Way" lacks in one cover.
That said, I do have several complaints.
The author is Catholic and he leans toward conservatism, he mentioned in several places papal social and economic encyclicals ala Thomas Woods Jr.. Maybe it's my long studies with Mises and Rothbard, both atheists, that have gotten me acclimated to "just the facts please" and leaving out the conservative religious fluff.Read more ›
The author really takes you through the destructive folly of ignoring common sense economics throughout the past 150 years. When governments neglect to protect property rights, debase the currency, allow for fractional reserve banking without 100% reserve backing, institute price controls, minimum wage laws, force the people to pay subsidies to favored groups, interfere with market prices including interest rates, then you have the chaos of booms and busts. The key to understanding booms and busts is to understand how artificial credit creation through the cartelized banking system distorts prices like interest rates that, in turn, fool entrepreneurs into thinking there is real savings available for future projects. Since consumers have not changed their pattern of consumption, the entrepreneur will find out too late that he will not have the available resources at the price he/she is planning on to complete his project. Witness the empty subdivisions in the Las Vegas desert after 2008.Read more ›
It seems about 85%+ of all "economists" are in one way or another dependent/supported by government; 57% being directly employed. Upton Sinclair's remark seems to fit: It is hard to get a man to understand a thing when his income is dependent on his not understanding it. The record shows logical time-proven Austrian economic thought was dumped by the 'professional' economists when their keepers snapped fingers and mandated politician-entrenching planned economics would be the HOAX of the day.
Let's face it, mainstream economics and the respective 'professional' economists are useful stooges for the cabal of fractional reserve banking and the elitist political ruling class. They get trotted out to employ the 3rd-Party Authority "Leading Economists Agree" Deception-Tactic to support this or that program cronyism/patronage (McCain..."I don't know economics but I have top economists on my staff") and when these programs fail...the blame is automatically deflected from the banks and the politicians. Mainstream historians further the scams...another day another topic.
The only problem I have with Mr Veryser's presentation is his conflict between human action and his, it appears, catholic upbringing. There's a number of saints and popes quoted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the best and clearest and most explanatory book I've ever read TWICE NOW on economic theory. It is superb. Read morePublished 11 months ago by G C on a lake N of Dallas
This was an excellent book. Particularly compelling are the chapters on the multiple bubbles created by the Fed in the 1920's, the consequences of Nixon fully abandoning the gold... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Joseph Walsh
it explains why government is not the answer to the problems and in reality the cause of most of the problems people need to read this in order to understand what happens when the... Read morePublished on December 13, 2013 by james clarkson
Perfect for my politically savvy husband. I didn't particularly care for it but we just have different tastes in interest.Published on December 5, 2013 by lisa flynn
I agree with Ron Paul. Excellent! The best explanation of Austrian Economics I have read. Clarifies why things are the way they are.Published on November 22, 2013 by Amazon Customer
This one book will enable you to argue with any economic "scholar," and hold your own. It challenges the very assumptions of (what passes for) economic theory today. Read morePublished on September 7, 2013 by Amazon Customer
If you really want to know how sound economics works, and what is actually going on in the world, read this book! Period!Published on August 21, 2013 by Mark
Great book if you are interested in why we are in the mess we are in...this would be a great book for all of our elected official to read, but they don't even read the bills they... Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by Matthew P. Schwob
Harry Veryser has presented us with a recipe for the common good. It is neither novel or complicated. Read morePublished on July 17, 2013 by Eric Langdon