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321 of 343 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why You MUST Read this book...and Order extras for friends & family...even if you don't like Schiff
Peter Schiff did not start out as one of my regular "reading list" authors...in fact, he originally irritated me quite a bit. However, after listening to several interviews on Financial Sense as well as numerous traditional media channels/outlets, reading several of his books...and watching with my own eyes/ears his rather pessimistic prognostications come about...I...
Published on April 26, 2010 by javajunki

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very, very simple
Not for the normal reader who follows the news and matters such as this. This would probably be good for an introductory fresh/soph college class, or a high school class (though lib schools would never allow it). It's very, very simplistic, unlike any of Schiff's other books, but for the right (alluded to above) audience, I'm sure it's fine. If you know anything at all...
Published 8 months ago by Insighter


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321 of 343 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why You MUST Read this book...and Order extras for friends & family...even if you don't like Schiff, April 26, 2010
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
Peter Schiff did not start out as one of my regular "reading list" authors...in fact, he originally irritated me quite a bit. However, after listening to several interviews on Financial Sense as well as numerous traditional media channels/outlets, reading several of his books...and watching with my own eyes/ears his rather pessimistic prognostications come about...I changed my tune. As a college instructor and business writer, it's not easy to do a turn-about...on the other hand, watching what is taking place across this nation (and indeed the world) isn't "easy" either.

However, after he announced his decision to pursue politics I expected this new book to be an extended "positioning statement". Whether you like or dislike Schiff, here is why you should read this book...and buy an extra to share with someone you care about.

1. It's funny. Okay, perhaps "funny" isn't a major reason to purchase this book but there is a decidedly quirky humor underlying the writing that makes this very accessible to people that wouldn't normally enjoy reading a book about economics. Schiff does a great job keeping this accessible to every type of audience without insulting the intelligence of the reader...in fact, he takes great pains to "de-mystify" the veil of complexity that surrounds issues that should be taught to every informed citizen.

2. Irwin Schiff. The father of Peter Schiff...I've read a couple of his books out of pure curiosity. While I do not personally agree with the position taken by the senior Schiff, I was utterly shocked to learn that at age 82 he remains incarcerated. Considering the recent fiasco of financial misconduct, it speaks volumes as to the priorities of the government. This book builds upon a story...and philosophy...initiated many years ago. Agree or disagree, it takes a man of courage and strong conviction to live his beliefs. I suspect men such as this are quickly becoming an endangered species in their own right.

3. Food for thought - while fishing. This is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the basic tenets of economics, personal responsibility (gasp - for the few of you out there that still believe in such a thing) and other foundational ideas. It's one of those books that will grow with their own understanding. Adults will absolutely appreciate this allegorical tale. Those that are searching for ways to understand a tough topic will enjoy the easy to read comparisons. Those that already adhere to Schiff's point of view/philosophy will REALLY enjoy the humor. Critics will not only enjoy the ability to take pop shots and blow things out of proportion but are likely to find plenty of ammunition for future debate. No matter how you cut it...everyone wins!

In this world there have always been a select few "Cassandra's" who were destined to remain a lone voice crying in the wilderness while others remained unable or unwilling to listen. However, they play an important role in history by serving as a witness that there were choices...choices that were not taken but choices just the same. They serve as evidence that some people were aware of the problem and there were other options. Whether you agree or disagree...an earnest debate is always preferred to an ignorant mind.
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137 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destroying the Keynesian Myth Once and For All, April 26, 2010
By 
TonyD (Baltimore, MD) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
Other than Thomas Woods, I can think of no one else that can explain the often intimidating field of economics as clearly and simply as Peter Schiff can. Even if you are a complete idiot when it comes to understanding economics, this book will make you understand that economics is actually a very simple concept to grasp. If you are literate, you should have a great understanding of the Austrian school upon finishing this book. Complete with humorous anecdotes and illustrations, Peter and Andrew Schiff retell their father's masterpiece (How an Economy Grows, and Why It Doesn't) in a new, modernized version. Whether you are new to, or are well versed in the Austrian School of Economics, I recommend that you read this book and pass it on to a friend when you are finished!
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would give this 6 stars if I could, May 6, 2010
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
This is the best Economics book I have ever read- and I have read many. Opening the book I was immediately put off by the "comic book" format, thinking the material would be too simplistic. I was wrong. I have a much better grasp of economics, and the Austrian ("hard money") and Keynesian ("free lunch") schools of thought. At first I was amazed at the authors ability to transform an arcane,boring and complex subject into a highly entertaining, informative and very easy to understand book.

After a while I realized however, the true insight of the book is that economics is not complex at all. It is the economists explanations that are complex. It takes some serious mental gymnastics to convince people that governments can spend more money than they take in, that an economy does not need a strong manufacturing base, budget and trade deficits don't matter and consuming ever more quantities of stuff (without the means to pay for it) is the path to prosperity.

Read this book and you'll have a better grasp of where we are today and where we are headed than the majority of "experts" out there.
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105 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, April 25, 2010
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
This cute book explains economics in a simple way that is easy to understand. It uses humor and 'old school' story telling to break down how economies grow AND crash.
It also shows us how government intervention can also distort the economy.
I found it a unique way to teach children AND adults that the 'laws of physics' apply to everyone- including countries! It you spend more than you save, eventually you will pay a price. It is that simple. Our country is starting to see that. Many in our government keep promising us everything we want (free health care, low interest rates, practically endless unemployment benefits, tax credits and more) all WITHOUT raising taxes or actually growing the economy. At what point do we (or China) realize this cannot continue?????
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening book, May 9, 2010
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
Read it over a 4 hour plane ride (yes it's that easy to read), I thoroughly enjoy this book. As promised, the authors broke down the complicated subject of economics into simple concepts illustrated by a fun story that everyone can understand; it certainly shows in no uncertain terms where the Schiffs are coming from. To me the major take-aways are:

- Economy grows by people becoming more efficient and increasing production through entrepreneurship and savings that funds it. There are activities that don't really grow an economy according to this very definition, if they don't increase production, e.g., a lot of the service sector work, no matter how the "official" calculation calculates the size of an economy (e.g., GDP). The buying and selling of houses and their accompanying industries like home furnishing, construction, etc during the housing boom certainly don't increase the production in an economy, while the invention of a net to catch more fish or a water delivery system or carts that transport more fish or the invention of banking (like told in the story) certainly do increase production and thus do grow the economy.

- The story's telling of US around the time of FDR and their lasting changes to the country really is shocking: the ascendancy of the Federal Reserve Notes (the dollar) and the requirement of its use, the confiscation of gold, the debasement of the dollar to its eventual transformation to a fiat currency, the massive public works projects, and the popular but unsustainable benefit programs like social security and the medicare. It really makes one re-think what he's taught in school about the merits of these programs and about the legacies of presidents like FDR and Lyndon Johnson.

- The relationship between the US and China is also illustrated in no uncertain terms and is equally shocking: China has in effect become the production part of the the relationship, while the US enjoys what China produces by giving worthless fiat currency in return. China in effect is providing a lifeline to the US to allow it to over-consume beyond its production, and is really the sucker in this relationship..., something that a lot of protectionists and China bashers seem to have forgotten, and maybe is the reason why the US hasn't been able to really get tough on China... the US is really a prime beneficiary of the relationship. As the story illustrates, however, a change of relationship (i.e., China stopping to buy US bonds) will harm both countries for sure, with China left with devaluing dollars and the US not able to consume and afford cheap goods, but in the long term the US will be the one that suffers more, with deteriorating living standards until it rebuilds its production (i.e., manufacturing sector) to live within the means of its production.

Overall it's one of the most enlightening, and fun book I've ever read.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ !!!! Great, funny, insightful, and just plain awesome!, April 27, 2010
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
I've been a fan of Peter for a few years now, I follow his blogs, commentaries, and news appearances. I must say, this book lays it all out for you. Even if you have a good understanding of economics, this books simplifies to a point even a kid can understand it. Too bad our congressmen dont. Everyone should read this book, I finished it in a few hours its so easy to read. He covers the growth of economy from it's primitive stages to becoming a global economic power and how government distorts and actually causes depressions, recessions, and economic crashes. I also how it;s all related to current and historical events. I will buy a few more copies of this book and give them to some of my friends who are clueless as to what's really happening with our economy and government. They get so caught up in the Republican vs Democrat farce that they are blinded to see what is really going on. I dont care where you are on the political spectrum, you should give this book a shot.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best introduction period, May 1, 2010
By 
Brent Ziarnick (Colorado Springs, CO) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
The Schiffs have written a monumental introduction to economics as common sense. I'll be buying copies of this book for everyone I know who has children.

The pictures are incredible. The book reads as a childrens parable but can teach adults a great deal as well.

The book does tend to get weaker as it becomes centered more on current events. The explanation of the bailouts and the Chinese-US trade situation are very good, but I am afraid that it may lessen the impact of the book in the future. The book deserves to go beyond the current affairs section and find a place among the economic classics.

Enjoyable and informative. A great book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total Satisfaction, May 1, 2010
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
I was a bit of skeptic and reluctant to buy this book. I saw Peter Schiff on many television station and I am a subscriber to his financial newsletter. I felt that by buying the book I would be helping Mr. Schiff. After reading the introduction and chapter one I knew that the money was well spent. I got my money's worth and more. The easy to read and easy to follow writing made reading this book a shear pleasure. I couldn't put this book down. It had enriched my knowledge and I feel better for it. You just cannot put price on that.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This will likely replace "Economics in One Lesson" as a great inro book, May 5, 2010
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
What a great book for explaining how the economy works using the most basic of examples. It starts out with 3 guys on an island trying to catch fish and everything builds from there. If you want to really understand what the economy is, get this book. It's a great book for the novice. I will be giving it out to typical Republican and Democrat friends who have very little understanding on how the economy grows (and crashes).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Peter Schiff and Andrew Schiff, May 1, 2010
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This review is from: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes (Hardcover)
This is my 3rd Peter Schiff book. I have read a few other books about economics and this one stands out from all of them. It is humorous and enlightening. Peter and Andrew do a great job of taking a complex concept and putting it into relatable terms. Instead of speaking in economic terms, they use straight forward analogies. I think anyone that has a 401k or for that matter any form of income, should read this book. It will change the way you think about the world around you. It will make you a smarter investor and saver.
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How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes
How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter D. Schiff (Hardcover - May 3, 2010)
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