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Economix: How and Why Our Economy Works (and Doesn't Work) in Words and Pictures Paperback – September 1, 2012
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"I just cannot stress enough how amazing this book is!" --James Floyd Kelly, Wired.com
"Dan E. Burr's appealing illustrations add punch, humor, and clarity to Goodwin's already-excellent storytelling skills. . . . Light switches flicked on in my mind every few pages or so, and after reading Economix I felt like I understood many fundamental aspects about the way the world works. . . . Economix is a book I'm going to buy and give to people."--Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing
"Michael Goodwin hasn't just written a great graphic novel -- he's written one that should be required for every school, newsroom and library in the United States." --Andrew Smith, Scripps-Howard News Service
"Economix eliminates stupidity in the face of economics-speak. . . . You'll come away from Economix with a slew of newly understood concepts, from mixed economy to stagflation, but the most important thing you'll come away with is a newfound confidence in your ability to understand how the economic world works for and often against us. --Bob Duggan, BigThink.com
"Goodwin brilliantly contextualizes economic theories with historical narrative, while Burr's simple but elegant illustration employs classical techniques like caricaturing politicians and symbolizing big businesses (as a gleeful factory) to help the reader visualize difficult concepts. If the book has a prime message, it's that the economy is quite understandable and when things go wrong, the effort and thinking of a whole society must be applied to bring everything back into line." --Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
Michael Goodwin is a writer and editor with a degree in Chinese studies. He has lived in China, India, and now New York City. Dan E. Burr illustrated the classic graphic novel Kings in Disguise. He lives in Milwaukee.
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Economix came up as one of the most recommended introductions to the history of economics — according to Reddit. I appreciate how Michael Goodwin opens the book: he confesses that modern economists are, at times, beyond confusing and inconsistent and that primary sources are the way to go. When he went back to the original sources, the sources all the modern economists were quoting, he found that (1) primary sources were more often than not taken out of context and (2) primary sources had some faulty assumptions and ideals [like the Supple and Demand chart assumes an ideal economy with stagnant desires, resources, political climate, etc. In this sense, the Supple and Demand chart is a very flat, 2-dimensional model]. For example, laissez-faire (“let it be”) might have worked in a pre-industrialized, pre-technologically-advanced, pre-globalized country–but the success was short lived. Most 20th century communism models picked and choose what they liked from Marx (to his great frustration, assumingly). Reagonomics, tickle-down economics, and tax cutting the rich and major corporations pretty much ruined everything. So, along with Reddit, I cannot recommend this enough. Plus, the comic book form is amazing. The book, though, is not without faults, but as an introduction it is very informative.
Economics is much more than just money — it is political, psychological, sociological, philosophical, and, agreeing with Tanner, theological. So, as much as I did not want to learn a lick of economics, as someone who wants to be a theologian, I must learn more economics: it is both exciting and dreadful.
I have to admit I was quite weary of reading a comic book on such a serious subject but the author actually nailed it very well: there is no concession to clarity or significant cut corners in there.
It covers the history of the economic thought to the present day and although the author is left-leaning (at least in his economics view) he made a very good job at being balanced until at least the 80's and Reaganomics, which he prefaces explicitly by stating that what was coming was necessarily colored by his views.
If what you want is a 4-hours read that gives you a pretty good idea of the evolution of economic thought including much History (not of just the US) without being tedious, this is a great choice.
I have ordered three additional copies of which I already gave two away and I am most likely to buy another few copies.
It would be better is you could search idiomatics questions in the text.
I Love it!