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Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You about Economics Hardcover – April 13, 2015
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Judy Shelton, author of Money Meltdown.
"Popular Economics is an essential 21st century complement to Henry Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson. In a book that is happily free of charts and incomprehensible equations, John Tamny uses exciting stories from the world around us to show the reader that nothing is easier than economic growth. Popular Economics is the answer for those confused by the 'dismal science.'"
Arthur Laffer, economist, creator of the "Laffer Curve"
John’s book is many things. It’s a great way to learn economics, it’s a very strong case for economic liberty, and it is an epic myth-buster. I will be giving it out to friends, of all viewpoints, for a long long time.”
Cliff Asness, Managing Principal, AQR Capital
Ignore John Tamny’s easy to read, Popular Economics, at your own moral peril. It’s as close to spiritual as you get in this realma better tutorial than any econ text. I’d make it mandatory for the 95% of econ majorsright up through PhDswho never really got the basics. While making you edgy toward the endless societal consensus nonsense it cuts through like a guillotineit also frees you to see the true creative beauty of reality all around us.”
Ken Fisher, Founder & CEO, Fisher Investments
"In a revelatory analysis of the so-called 'financial crisis,' John Tamny makes the unexpected case that the actual crisis was the huge banking blunder of betting the investment capital of the U.S. economy on housing, a retrospective consumption good already grossly in over supply. Confirming the blunder, government under both Bush and Obama bailed out the banks and debauched the dollar, devaluing the entire entrepreneurial economy of the future. Rare is a book so contrary, so pithy, and so true."
George Gilder, author of Knowledge & Power
"John Tamny offers a wide ranging analysis of some of the most pressing issues facing the American economy today, from income inequality and job creation to budget deficits and tax reform. Through engaging examples and stories, he provides a thought-provoking argument in favor of a free market approach to economic growth. Whether you agree with him or not, there is no question that his perspective needs to be part of the discussion on American economy policy in the new millennium."
Enrico Moretti, Professor of Economics, Cal-Berkeley, author of The New Geography of Jobs
From the Inside Flap
But a lot of people want you to think economics is terribly complicated. Politicians, bureaucrats, special-interest groups, and economists themselves have managed to turn common sense and simple cause-and-effect into a mystery religion. And they want you, the ordinary taxpayer, to keep a respectful distance.
John Tamny is here to break the spell with Popular Economics. You don’t need a Ph.D. and a graphing calculator to understand the economic lessons that are all around usjust the self-confidence to see what’s in front of your nose. Stimulating economic growth is pretty simple, too. It all comes down to Taxes, Regulation, Trade, and Money. Get these four things right, and economic growth would explode.
Taxes. Think of taxes as a penalty for working. If Great Britain raises Mick Jagger’s income tax rate high enough, the Rolling Stones are going to find somewhere else to live, and the amount of taxes Great Britain collects from Mick will be zero.
Regulation. The smartest people in any industry aren’t the regulators, they’re the people making a living at it. Regulation is based on the fantasy that the mediocre can effectively direct the best and brightest. That’s like expecting the Appalachian State football team to beat Michigan every time they play.
Trade. LeBron James could be a pretty good tight end in the NFL, but in basketball he’s the best in the world. So it makes no sense for him to play football. That’s called comparative advantage, and it’s the foundation of free trade.
Money. Imagine playing football if the length of a yard changed on every play. Yet that’s how we run our economy. The value of the dollarthe economy’s unit of measurechanges in value every minute.
Government tries to convince us that free markets are dangerous. To believe that, we have to ignore reality, and plenty of professional economists are trying to help us do that.
But Popular Economics shows that you’re an economist tooand a better one than you think.
Top Customer Reviews
John Tamny makes a good case for low taxes: "Taxes are not only a price on work. They are also a price on the productive use of wealth." John points out the futility of raising taxes on the rich: "The rich are highly mobile, and they will put their capital to work in the most favorable environment." I thought the author's points were right on target.
The chapters on regulation were similarly passionate, but I don't think the author always supported his points very soundly. For those who think there should be safety regulations on airplanes, the author argues that those regulations are not necessary, since a company that crashes its airplanes will soon go out of business: "In a wholly unregulated market, an airline with a poor reputation for safety would be out of business quickly."
I would have loved to see a discussion from both sides on the safety/regulation issue. Although the author didn't discuss building safety/fire regulations, I assume that he would likewise argue for elimination of all these regulations as well. The author's position is that if an airplane crashes, or a building collapses, this would help drive the company out of business, so really, no regulations are needed.
I couldn't help but think that the author's arguments for zero regulation are based on near-perfect information to the public.Read more ›
By John Tamny
A short book report by Ron Housley
At last, a book to show us in a meaningful and memorable way how it really does matter that we allow our political rulers to use force against us!
It turns out that our very happiness and prosperity are directly controlled by the extent to which the State manipulates taxes, regulations, trade and money.
I am especially struck by the titles of the first 2 parts: (a)Taxes, and (b)Regulation. These are the same 2 concepts which drew the focus of Brook/Watkins in their “Free Market Revolution” — where they showed us that taxes are merely the implementation of altruism; and that regulations are merely the implementation of the notion that success is created by dishonesty.
Far too often, people go through life with only the most superficial (and wrong) understanding of how our economy works. Today we hear that “income inequality” is bad for our economy; and then we also hear that “income inequality” is essential for growth and prosperity. So which is it?!
Once you’ve read through Tamny’s book, you’ll have a new found respect for the value of “income inequality;” and you will come to clearly see how and why. You’ll see how “income inequality” is even good for “the little guy.”
The way you’ll come to see all this is by means of a few great stories. The story of ESPN is a crystal clear accounting of how funds from a super-wealthy investor allowed a new venture to survive and grow — an outcome that would never have come about had the State taxed way and squandered the spare $10-million that one rich investor could afford to gamble on the ESPN investment.Read more ›
There’s no question that the author comes from and defends a free market libertarian ideology. He defends it rather well and yet does so through an entertaining style that never becomes overbearing. Those who disagree with his principled belief system do so at the cost of not seeing how through his cool illustrations in support of that economic idea he sheds light on its truth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author offers a highly readable primer on economic reality. I wish it had been written when I was a young man. As it is I will send it to my daughters.Published 1 month ago by GJD
Pretty entertaining story that tells details about the economy. However, it is a bit outdated.Published 1 month ago by Fitgirl
Tamny writes in plain English that even we non-business types can understand. His examples are crystal clear. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Janfuq
If we raise taxes to what they were in France in the early 70s the Rolling Stones might make another good album. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ryan Costa
A spectacularly well-written book. Engaging writing style. Filled with examples of well-know people and events. Exceptionally clear explanations. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stephen Harris
Great read. Provides great insight into current economic issues and trends.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer