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Author Topic: An economics primer for politicians  (Read 839 times)
Bimmerhead
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January 15, 2012, 06:37:58 PM
 #1

Can someone recommend a clearly-written, succinct book on economics that would be suitable for the average middle-of-the-road municipal politician?

Something that can explain in everyday language, to a person who may not be prepared to hear the truth, that government intervention in any market (ex: housing) inevitably leads to a unforeseen consequences and a lower standard of living for all.

Something that can wake-up a meddling 'progressive' to the fact that their do-gooderism is making more misery for all of us.

Suggestions?

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January 15, 2012, 07:01:52 PM
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http://mises.org/books/historyofmoney.pdf

The early history (start at page 47-179) is pretty engaging. Eventually it starts reading like the bible though (around the time the Federal Reserve was created):
Quote
The secret meeting
of a handful of top bankers at the Jekyll Island Club in
November 1910 that framed the prototype of the Federal
Reserve Act was held at a resort facility provided by J.P. Morgan
himself. The Federal Reserve, in its first two decades, contained
two loci of power: the main one was the head, then called the
governor, of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; of lesser
importance was the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. The
governor of the New York Fed from the beginning until his
death in 1928, was Benjamin Strong, who had spent his entire
working life in the Morgan ambit. He was a vice president of the
Bankers Trust Company, established by the Morgans to engage
in the new and lucrative trust business; and his best friends in
the world were his mentor and neighbor, the powerful Morgan
partner Henry P. Davison, as well as two other Morgan partners,
Dwight Morrow and Thomas W. Lamont. So highly
trusted was Strong in the Morgan circle that he was brought in
to be the personal auditor of J. Pierpont Morgan, Sr., during the
panic of 1907.
Vitalik Buterin
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February 18, 2012, 11:59:28 AM
 #3

Can someone recommend a clearly-written, succinct book on economics that would be suitable for the average middle-of-the-road municipal politician?

Something that can explain in everyday language, to a person who may not be prepared to hear the truth, that government intervention in any market (ex: housing) inevitably leads to a unforeseen consequences and a lower standard of living for all.

Something that can wake-up a meddling 'progressive' to the fact that their do-gooderism is making more misery for all of us.

Suggestions?

Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell. It's exactly what you want.

Argumentum ad lunam: the fallacy that because Bitcoin's price is rising really fast the currency must be a speculative bubble and/or Ponzi scheme.
Luther
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February 18, 2012, 08:25:20 PM
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Here's a real simple explanation:

Due to advancing technology, the world is changing much faster than it ever has in the past. To be able to adapt to these constant, unpredictable changes, we need to maximize our diversity. When each individual has the freedom and responsibility to act on their own, some people will try some unusual practices. Some of those unusual practices will turn out to be highly beneficial and can be imitated by others. Thus, all of society benefits from the freedom to do things that very few people see the value in.

When you centralize the managment of resources, whether by regulation, joint property, or uncriticized tradition, you kill off the diversity that allows the discovery of new things, thereby halting the vast majority of our potential progress.

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February 18, 2012, 08:44:12 PM
 #5

Can someone recommend a clearly-written, succinct book on economics that would be suitable for the average middle-of-the-road municipal politician?

Something that can explain in everyday language, to a person who may not be prepared to hear the truth, that government intervention in any market (ex: housing) inevitably leads to a unforeseen consequences and a lower standard of living for all.

Something that can wake-up a meddling 'progressive' to the fact that their do-gooderism is making more misery for all of us.

Suggestions?

I've bolded something that no textbook of economics would ever say.  I think what you really want is a political manifesto not a book.  I'm sure the Libertarian Party will have one.

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