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An Introduction to Economic Reasoning Paperback – June 1, 2000


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An Introduction to Economic Reasoning + Lessons for the Young Economist + Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute (June 2000)
  • ISBN-10: 0945466285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945466284
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #599,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Reinhard Stiebler on October 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
... but found nobody whom to ask?
This book is definitely the way out. It has everything a beginner's textbook is asking for. Witty writing, step-by-step explanations, practical examples. By the way you understand what is meant with concepts and theories economists use to explain to us why a certain policy should be pursued or abolished, like the labor theory of value, price controls, minimum wages, and different currency systems. And before you know you understand what is behind the arguments of current policy issues, what are the true and the false arguments, misleading paths, right or wrong theories behind them.
The author is not soft on the issues, but uses logical reasoning and explains in every step the possible fallacies. In the end - if one likes it or not - one has to follow his cogent conclusions about the way markets work in a free society and how government intervention affects those outcomes.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jackson on March 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
AN INTRODUCTION TO ECONOMIC REASONING is probably the first book you want to read if you are planning on studying economics. Although this work is called an introduction to "economic reasoning," it is perhaps more accurately considered an introduction to economics as such.
This book is quite basic, and could be profitably used by high school students or anyone without a knowledge of economics. It hits many of the basic topics in economics, such as marginal utility, supply and demand, and money. It is from the Austrian perspective, so it could save a high schooler from years of unlearning. The only drawback is that although it contains many useful study questions, it doesn't include the answers (nor is there, from what I can tell, a teacher's guide).
Dr. David Gordon is associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the nation's premier free enterprise think tank. The Institute has published another work - ECONOMICS FOR REAL PEOPLE by Gene Callahan - that is more advanced and would make an excellent follow-up work.
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This book is a must for anyone that wants to learn about economics in a non intimidating book. The author ensures the book is easy to read and attempts to make a humorous effort to maintain your attention. This book will leave you with an understanding that will allow you to make a reasonable economic argument with someone and make sense as oppose to those that think economics in ONLY about "supply and demand". The reading level of this book is arguably at a junior high level. I wish this was mandatory reading in school. I cannot emphasize enough how useful this book is. You will not regret reading it.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael Szyska on May 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book for a high school economics 101 course. This book should be read by every high school student. The ideas are put forth in a very straight foward manner that is almost too easy to understand. If you have any knowledge about ecomomics, do not get this. You will be board with the concepts Gordon goes over.
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16 of 56 people found the following review helpful By pewis on May 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
As the author states in the introduction this book is written from the viewpoint of the Austrian School of economics. More precisely it follows the teachings of Ludwig von Mises. Von Mises based his economic theories on a single axiom: "Man acts to achieve an end." From this single axiom he drew all his consequences that led him to the conclusion that free market is not bound to a specific economic system but rooted in the very nature of man.

Von Mises himself might have done better, but David Gordon does not succeed in showing what should prevent men from achieving their ends by non-market means like for example enslaving other people. That is at least what people did for thousands of years. But observations like this would not be taken into consideration by Misesian economists: Von Mises based his economic theories entirely on deductive logic and viewed empirical facts as simply irrelevant. The reader should take into account that this book follows a sectarian approach which is rejected as methodically inadequate by mainstream economics as well as by other members of the Austrian School.

The autor is well versed in logic and writes a witty prose but he employed his abilities to write a right-wing propaganda pamphlet disguised as textbook. David Gordon makes out numerous enemies: Sociology, progressive schools, Hillary Clinton, trade unions, taxes, the New Deal, Minimum Wages, any kind of state intervention. The state is the villain anyway.

In its essence this book presents a cynical viewpoint. We learn for example that "the marginal sellers will exit the market". But what does it mean if a marginal seller of labor exits the market in a society without welfare system?
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