Top positive review
5 people found this helpful
You just gotta think outside the box!
on March 26, 2010
Economics may not be considered one of the sexier sciences. But, first with "Freakonomics" and now with "Super Freakonomics", rogue economists and best-selling authors, Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner, have proven that economics can be fascinating, funny and out-of-the-blue surprising as well!
No cow is so sacred as to escape the scrutiny of Levitt and Dubner's micro- and macro-scopic analysis. For example, would any of us have thought to question the value of infant car seats in preventing child injury or deaths in car accidents? I certainly wouldn't have but Levitt and Dubner show that children's car seats are no more effective than regular seat belts at preventing injury. How many millions (or billions) of dollars are swirling into a voracious black hole in pursuit of this particular sacred cow?
I expect their tongues were planted firmly in their cheeks when they examined the economics of pimping and street prostitution, but I, for one, found the analysis of the precipitous decline in the cost of oral sex to be absolutely fascinating. Not only is Levitt and Dubner's analysis interesting economics but their conclusions say a great deal about the evolution of world culture.
Is global warming a reality? Who knows for sure but, whether it is or it isn't, Levitt and Dubner have presented a rather critical commentary on the economics of possible solutions to a problem that may well be considerably less daunting and costly to solve than the likes of Al Gore would have us believe. While "Super Freakonomics" may smack of libertarianism, it's hard to argue with Levitt and Dubner's broader conclusions that government policy frequently falls victim to the law of unintended consequences and that governments rarely, if ever, choose a small-scale inexpensive solution to a problem when a flashier, bigger and more expensive solution is available.
With no punches pulled, "Super Freakonomics" might be brash and cheeky and it certainly isn't textbook economics, but it is thoroughly entertaining and informative. If it causes any voter to raise an eyebrow and question government policy more critically or if it causes any consumer to be more wary of future purchases and less accepting of dogma, publicity or advertising on faith, then Levitt and Dubner will go to bed this evening pleased with the work they've done. And, along the way - what a bonus - it's a certainty that you'll experience a good laugh or two! Highly recommended.