- Paperback: 132 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall; 3rd edition (October 8, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0131433547
- ISBN-13: 978-0131433540
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protection (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The story follows the time-traveling journey and conversation of Ed Johnson (a businessman looking for protection form Japanese competition) and his guardian angle David Ricardo (modeled after the little-known economist.) Together they travel to the future, back to the past, and through alternate timelines to demonstrate Robert's point.
Through this journey, Ricardo corrects some critical mistakes in economic theory; such as the `zero-sum theory', misconceptions on the nature of supply and demand, the role and meaning of wages and `real' wages, the mythical "dangers" of a trade deficit, what imports and exports really are, and most of all, dismisses the myth that trade with other countries hurts the American worker overall (which he admits, in a smaller sense, it sometimes does.)
The book takes some leaps of logic, which the author fully admits in the back of the book; such as the town of Star (Ed's hometown) being unchanged in the `protectionist' universe. These little plot devices are not meant to represent reality, but demonstrate more abstract points, in that sense, it is more like a metaphor.
Overall, the book makes one of the strongest cases ageists the practicality of protectionism that I have ever heard. He also fits some talk as to the moral case against it, that it is really an issue of freedom, and no one person has the right to force another in to a certain kind of behavior (A.K.A.Read more ›
To me, one of the most appealing things about Roberts' work is his honesty. He doesn't pretend that economic change doesn't hurt, but he also focuses on the benefits in the longer term. He writes in such a pleasant style that economics becomes accessible to people who are "math phobic."
His other book, The Invisible Heart, is at least as good as this one.
Analytical Review: For those not highly motivated to read Ricardo's economic classic ("On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation'), this is a very readable alternative that simplifies his ideas. It presents the free trade arguments in a very accessible format. Many examples are very clear and compelling, others not so much. Whether you with free trade mantra or not, this is a good, clear defense to be read, digested, and reflected upon.
It's a worthy read even though most of the pro-protectionist crowd—those who would benefit the most from the book's message—aren't even aware of what protectionism is or why it's problematic, and are unlikely to ever check out The Choice.
This book is the current best effort to have an easy to understand resource to train the masses on how economists think and how world trade and currency work.
The Choice is extremely cheesy and written in such clear, simple language it reads rather harsh so it's not a book meant for nostalgic re-reads or for rainy day entertainment (although I find it incredibly entertaining having discovered it 3 years into my economics degree). The stories, characters and dialogue are simply tools to explain abstract ideas to all audiences. Roberts admittedly simplified the language for that purpose. But the information and explanations are there for nearly every debated topic on international trade and economic policy.
In essence, this book has the power to be more effective in preparing a mind to understand the fundamentals of economic thinking than most 101 level Econ classes. It's pure content broken down with the use of storytelling, not mind numbing graphs. The Choice should be required reading the first week of any micro/macro entry-level econ class so students don't spend the semester quietly trying to figure out why supply and demand curves are not curved at all when their teacher draws them and misses some of the larger lessons about economics.
My Professor who assigned the reading to me in college is actually a good friend of Russel Roberts and is mentioned in the thank you section: Michael McElroy of NCSU. What a tremendous experience learning from him was for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a great little read. I actually had to read it for my masters class but I enjoyed it. It's clear the points he's trying to get across, so it's easy to follow. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Kathryn Carter
Comparative Advantage is a Component of Fair Trade, NOT Free Trade.
Free Trade was NEVER meant to become completely abused by Wall Street.
Back to square one.
super super repetitive. The author just kept saying the same thing over and over again, and made the main character seem so stupid when it came to economics, and he was a... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Spencer
There just was not much to it. Kind of VERY repetitive. I felt it said the same thing over and over againPublished 6 months ago by David Drouet
A very readable book. It makes the theoretical, moral, and empirical cases for free trade without using jargon or coming off as an ideological rant. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ethan Roberts
Should be required reading for just about every person in this world. Free trade is the best solution to so many of the world's problems. Highly recommended reading. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Ashley Peterson