Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Economics for the Rest of Us: Debunking the Science That Makes Life Dismal Paperback – April 5, 2011
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Thankfully, along comes Moshe Adler with "Economics for the Rest of Us" to debunk that notion. He takes aim at two of the founding myths of modern economic theory and practice, and eviscerates them. One is "Pareto efficiency": the notion that you can't change the rules to alleviate the misery of the poor because it would take away too much from the affluent, and therefore make "the economy" as a whole less efficient. The other is the notion that there is such thing as a quantifiable "marginal product of labor" that determines how much each person earns for his or her labor. (In reality, wages are determined by the workers' bargaining power, which is why management loathes unions.)
Taking off from these two points, Adler raises - and answers - a set of questions far more interesting than anything in "Freakonomics": Are monopolies good or bad? Can public education, for instance, be improved by "throwing money" at it? What's the impact of rent control? What's the impact on employment of a minimum wage? Can low wages cut unemployment during a recession? Why are corporate CEOs so eager to pursue mergers and acquisitions?
Along the way, Adler uncovers some forgotten aspects of economic history.Read more ›
The non economist reader of this book will wonder how such thinking could ever have come to dominate the discipline of economics (Adler provides a nice historical overview). The economist reader will never again think about these two concepts in quite the same way.
If teachers of Econ 1 really want their students to "think for themselves" they will require this book as supplementary reading. But let them be forewarned. Dropping these two principles cuts the legs from a great deal of the psudo-scientific defense of policies which permit the continuation of social injustice, a defense into which many teachers of introductory economics have been co-opted without even knowing that they have been duped.
The first, more interesting half of this sub-200-page book explores the concept of economic efficiency, defining/debating stuff like Utilitarianism (which basically argues that feeding the poor with the rich's money is a net good for society since a dollar means more to the poor), Pareto efficiency (argues against that), supply and demand, taxes, and income redistribution. It gets especially thought-provoking near the end, i.e. Chapter 7 gets into how massive inequality can ruin society through consumption alone. How? Because it becomes more rational/profitable for sellers to cater to only a tiny handful of super-rich instead of masses of average people, which leads to consequences like a dearth of real estate in NYC (because the rich demand space-hogging mega apartments), airplanes with no legroom, lower availability of doctors and medicines, and even crappier rock concerts (cuz some CEO just hands Elton John a million to show up at his house instead). He also argues against popular notions like higher taxes discouraging CEOs to work or rent control hurting the real estate market, and expends lots of effort discrediting Pareto in general.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
MY boyfriend ordered this for school. I did not read it but the item came as described and on timePublished 6 days ago by Amanda F.
Adler's own choice of an epigraph by FDR should tell him that politics overrides economics. He starts by saying that a pie is bigger when shared equally. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Gderf
Economics for the rest of us? There is no knowledge of any economic workings in this book. If you want to understand how to prosper in the economy and to make money look elsewhere. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Lowy
People who regard economics as junk science will find much affirmation in Economics for the Rest of Us: Debunking the Science That Makes Life Dismal, beginning with Adler's... Read morePublished 7 months ago by B. A. Anderson
Intertwines moral and ethical dilemmas faced by humans in real life situations with economic thoughts theories and principles related to those same situations.Published 18 months ago by katie
Here's how the economy works: a whole company team produces a product, then the CEO claims it was mostly due to his/her effort (in keeping wages low) and claims the largest share. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Dee Did It
This book is purely theoretical. Many of Professor Adler's ideas are well crafted for overcoming Pareto/Taylor-Hicks theorems, but have inherent assumptions that disallow practical... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Derek Zweig
Economics for the Rest of Us is a treasure. Adler's explanations of economic theory are so clear that just about anyone can read this book and be the better for it. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jennifer Leamy
Being a non-economist I was expecting a boring and or dull book. Mr Adler explains with amazing clarity and interest of the economy works.Published on June 25, 2014 by John R. Trussoni