Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy PDF by Thomas Sowell

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Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy
By Thomas Sowell
Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy


CONTENTS

Preface
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1: What Is Economics?
PART I: PRICES AND MARKETS
Chapter 2: The Role of Prices
Chapter 3: Price Controls
Chapter 4: An Overview of Prices
PART II: INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE
Chapter 5: The Rise and Fall of Businesses
Chapter 6: The Role of Profits–and Losses
Chapter 7: The Economics of Big Business
Chapter 8: Regulation and Anti-Trust Laws
Chapter 9: Market and Non-Market Economies
PART III: WORK AND PAY
Chapter 10: Productivity and Pay
Chapter 11: Minimum Wage Laws
Chapter 12: Special Problems in Labor Markets
PART IV: TIME AND RISK
Chapter 13: Investment
Chapter 14: Stocks, Bonds and Insurance
Chapter 15: Special Problems of Time and Risk
PART V: THE NATIONAL ECONOMY
Chapter 16: National Output
Chapter 17: Money and the Banking System
Chapter 18: Government Functions
Chapter 19: Government Finance
Chapter 20: Special Problems in the National
Economy
PART VI: THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY
Chapter 21: International Trade
Chapter 22: International Transfers of Wealth
Chapter 23: International Disparities in Wealth
PART VII: SPECIAL ECONOMIC ISSUES
Chapter 24: Myths About Markets
Chapter 25: “Non-Economic” Values
Chapter 26: The History of Economics
Chapter 27: Parting Thoughts
Questions
Notes

PREFACE
The most obvious difference between this book and other introductory economics books is that Basic Economics has no graphs or equations. It is also written in plain English, rather than in economic jargon, so that it can be readily understood by people with no previous knowledge of economics. This includes both the general public and beginning students in economics.

A less obvious, but important, feature of Basic Economics is that it uses real-life examples from countries around the world to make economic principles vivid and memorable, in a way that graphs and equations might not. During the changes in its various editions, the fundamental idea behind Basic Economics has remained the same: Learning economics should be as uncomplicated as it is eye-opening. Readers’ continuing interest in these new editions at home, and a growing number of translations into foreign languages overseas,

{i} suggest that there is a widespread desire for this kind of introduction to economics, when it is presented in a readable way.

Just as people do, this book has put on weight with the passing years, as new chapters have been added and existing chapters updated and expanded to stay abreast of changing developments in economies around the world.

Readers who have been puzzled by the large disparities in economic development, and standards of living, among the nations of the world will find a new chapter—Chapter 23, the longest chapter in the book—devoted to exploring geographic, demographic, cultural and other reasons why such striking disparities have existed for so long. It also examines factors which are said to have been major causes of international economic disparities and finds that the facts do not always support such claims.

Most of us are necessarily ignorant of many complex fields, from botany to brain surgery. As a result, we simply do not attempt to operate in, or comment on, those fields. However, every voter and every politician that they vote for affects economic policies. We cannot opt out of economic issues and decisions. Our only options are to be informed, uninformed, or misinformed, when making our choices on issues and candidates. Basic Economics is intended to make it easier to be informed. The fundamental principles of economics are not hard to understand, but they are easy to forget, especially amid the heady rhetoric of politics and the media.

In keeping with the nature of Basic Economics as an introduction to economics, jargon, graphs and equations have been left out. However, endnotes are included in this e-book, for those who may wish to check up on some of the surprising facts they will learn about here. For instructors who are using Basic Economics as a textbook in their courses, or for parents who are homeschooling their children, more than a hundred questions are in the back of this book, with the print book page numbers listed after each question, showing where the answer to that question can be found in the text.

 

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