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Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't Hardcover – June 4, 2007
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(and why they work so well)
Are free market economies really based on fleecing the consumer? Is the U.S. economy truly just a giant free-for-all that encourages duplicity in our everyday transactions? Is everyone from corporate CEOs to your local car salesman really looking to make a buck at your expense?
In Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't,
economist and bestselling author John R. Lott, Jr., answers these and other common economic questions, bravely confronting the profound distrust of the market that the bestselling book Freakonomics has helped to popularize. Using clear and hard-hitting examples, Lott shows how free markets liberate the best, most creative, and most generous aspects of our society--while efforts to constrain economic liberty, no matter
how well-intentioned, invariably lead to increased poverty and injustice. Extending
its rigorous economic analysis even further to our political and criminal justice
systems, Freedomnomics reveals:
● How the free market creates incentives for people to behave honestly
● How political campaign restrictions keep incumbents in power
● Why legalized abortion leads to family breakdown, which creates more crime
● Why affirmative action in police departments leads to higher crime rates
● How women's suffrage led to a massive increase in the size of government
· Why women become more conservative when they get married and more
liberal when they get divorced
● How secret ballots reduce voter participation
● Why state-owned companies and government agencies are much more likely to engage in unfair predation than are private firms
● Why the controversial assertions made in the trendy book Freakonomics are almost entirely wrong
Entertaining, persuasive, and based on dozens of economic studies spanning decades, Freedomnomics not only shows how free markets really work--but proves that, when it comes to promoting prosperity and economic justice, nothing works better.
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Top Customer Reviews
For example, Levitt and Dubner wrote in Freakonomics that realtors keep their homes on the market a little longer than their customers do, and also make a bit more profit upon selling them. From this, Levitt and Dubner jumped to the conclusion that this meant realtors are systematically scamming their customers. Lott rightly countered with a much simpler and more straightforward explanation: every realtor follows his own sage advice, but not every realtor's customer does. Lott's conclusions regarding the interplay between crime and abortion are a bit more questionable. True, the fact that the U.S. and Canada experienced a similar drop in crime at the same time in the early 1990s, while Canada's version of Roe came a decade too late to fit neatly with Levitt and Dubner's theory, does appear at first blush to be problematic for their theory. However, at second blush it's not clear how how problematic that factor is, given that the very few Canadians live more than a couple hundred miles from the U.S. border, meaning that nearly all could have easily availed themselves of Roe in the interim.Read more ›
Lott takes on very politically incorrect topics that the mainstream media would never touch such as how affirmative action influences police effectiveness and how giving women the right to vote has influenced the size of the government.
The book is very readable and is clearly intended for a general audience. I would strongly recommend it to people who enjoy the writings of columnists such as Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell.
Dr. Lott emphasizes the liberty and justice inherent to capitalism, and debunks numerous arguments about the limitations of the free market along the way. The bottom line here is that capitalism is what has allowed America to become as well-off as we are. In how many other countries is the overeating of poor people a major concern? As far as what positions struck me as being the strongest, I'd have to say that his link between women's suffrage and the swelling of government was ironclad. Further, in but two pages, he gave one of the best explanations that I've heard for why college faculties are ideologically skewed. I also have to admit that the Myth of Double Giving was completely unknown to me before opening this book. I always just accepted the idea that corporations covered their bets by giving to both political parties simultaneously.Read more ›
Besides the writing coming across as a sort of emotional right wing rant, Lott commits the error that is endemic to those in the small government and pro market intellectual circles.
That error is, intead of using logic and reason to argue the case for why freedom and laissez-faire capitalism increases the living standard of the ordinary person, he instead just refers to a litany of studies and data to prove his case. Page after page, every page, some statistic quoted, as an arguement from a higher authority.
Well let me give you a hard truth, for every study that Lott quotes as proof that his viewpoint is correct, some leftist academic can also point to data in a leftist study that will give the exact opposite conclusion. So it then becomes a circular arguement, with right wing and left wing academics just pointing to the data and statistics that back up their case.
Why does Lott do this? The answer is found on the very first page, where he declares Milton Friedman the greatest economist of all time. Friedman was a champion of the scientific approach to economics known as 'positivism'. Simply put, positivism means that theory, logic and reason have no place in explaining economic phenomena, only statistical data can be used and relied upon.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived in perfect condition in good time. Very clear and easy to understand. Everything John Lott writes is superb.Published 10 months ago by Charlie R
Just great. My crazy racist uncle had a stroke and then his trailer park cancelled fox "news" from their free cable line up. Read morePublished 11 months ago by X
I'm a latecomer to this controversy. Looking at some of the previous posts, I should say that I do think that Levitt was essentially non-ideological while Lott did have a... Read morePublished 14 months ago by John Wilhelmsen
Very good, book has changed my thinking on a few issues. Lott provided statistical information counter to my belief. Excellent read very eye-opening.Published 16 months ago by charliez
Freedomnomics, which is written on a level easily understood by a general audience, dispels many of the commonly held economic fallacies so often perpetrated by our information... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Stephen D. Wilson
I came to this book because I liked Freakonomics. Levitt/Dubner made some fascinating claims in there - some that I bought, others I didn't - and I was looking forward to a... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Evan Howell
Great book. It really does a good job of analizing and loking at factors that Freakonomics overlooks. Its a great book that every should read.Published on October 2, 2013 by David Kirkland
The facts are all here. Government regulation rarely helps consumers. John Lott explains why this is true in an easy-to-understand manner.Published on August 9, 2013 by 1gewehr