- Hardcover: 250 pages
- Publisher: Encounter Books (July 20, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594032548
- ISBN-13: 978-1594032547
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,845,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Economics Does Not Lie: A Defense of the Free Market in a Time of Crisis
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This book touches on a number of areas in which the free market's success is undisputed. Its is quite readable and I believe anyone with a high-school level of economics understanding will grasp it. The text is well-written and contains numerous references to back up it's assertions. It does, however, have the feel of a book hurriedly completed to coincide with the market's collapse, and could probably have benefited from a bit more editing.
If you're interested in understanding the roots of our prosperity and developing critical analysis of current policy proposals, this book should be on your reading list.
There are a fair number of books explaining the current crisis - the causes and and proposed fixes. Most are pretty good, but many seem to be very agenda driven - i.e. lets use the crisis to force some government to spend money fixing our favorite problems. Mr. Sorman write a very calm, well-reasoned and mostly-apolitical explanation of what nearly all economists would agree on.
The chapters on India, China, Brazil and Japan were especially well-thought-through.
He greatly understates the role of government policy in trade balances. Trade balances are controlled by social policy that has nothing to with trade per say. It's payroll taxes that burden American labor to the point of non competition and export of jobs. The idea of competitive advantage doesn't anymore work because of political interference. As Sorman says, the USA still has an edge in innovation and education, but we have lost the capacity to benefit from innovation. There's an interesting discussion of the economics of global warming based on the analysis of British economist, Nicholas Stern.
With a summary of his conclusions Sorman says that there is universal agreement among economists. It's hardly true and contradicted in his own text. There's a lot of room for more discussion of these policies.
The list of conclusions is worth repeating as part of a review even if not all of them follow the text.
1.The market economy is the most efficient.
2.Free trade helps economic development.
3.Good institutions help development.
4.The best measure of an economy is its growth.
5.Creative destruction is the engine of economic growth.
6.Monetary stability is necessary for growth; inflation is always harmful.
7.Unemployment among unskilled workers is largely determined by labor costs.
8.The welfare state is necessary, but not always effective.
9.Complex financial markets, despite excesses, has brought about economic progress.
10.Competition is usually desirable.
Only the most obvious are unassailable. A book could be written on the merits of each. My take is that the whole discussion is somewhat moot. There is no such thing as a free market as politics has made the concept obsolete.
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