- Paperback: 351 pages
- Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute; 1st edition (June 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0945466358
- ISBN-13: 978-0945466352
- Package Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 53 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,229,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School 1st Edition
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About the Author
Gene Callahan is a software-technology professional in Connecticut, an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute, and a commentator on economics issues in venues such as Marketplace and The Free Market. This is his first book.
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Besides this emphasis on subjective valuation--not surprisingly--economists of the Austrian school see the individual human being as the alpha and the omega of economic phenomena. That is why Mr. Callahan cleverly decided to start this book with the scenario of a man stranded on an uninhabited island. To the Austrians--Ludwig von Mises in particular--this is the ideal setting to learn the basics since economics is rooted in purposeful human action. The lone man facing an uncertain future, saddled by the limitations the island presents and by his own limited knowledge and skills must somehow make do and survive. He must use the scarce resources available--his time and knowledge being the scarcest--and make wise economical choices if his goal is to survive long enough to be rescued. Every decision that he makes towards that end will involve trade-offs; he has to weigh the costs and benefits of every action and aim to profit from his effort. Callahan says that economics studies the consequences of choice, and his island scenario perfectly illustrates this; moreover, the choices taken in this economy of one lead to one of the clearest explanation I've ever read concerning marginal utility.
Because economics is rooted in human choice and value is subjective, Austrians see "Political solutions to questions of value..." as inimical to freedom and economic principles. Perhaps more important, this subjectivity of value ultimately means that "you're as wealthy as you think you are," and questions like, "Am I wealthier if I have more cash in the bank, or more time to spend with my children?" cannot be answered by government planners or by economists, but only by you.
Economics for Real People is an important book that deserves careful study and a wide audience.
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"The subject matter of economics, in the Austrian view, is the logic of economic events, not the correlations existing between...Read more