Basic Economics

Category: Business & Finance
Author: Thomas Sowell
This Year Hacker News 3
This Month Reddit 5


by treeman79   2022-08-30
Hard to get better then Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.

by giorgioz   2022-02-07
I recommend reading Basic Economics from Thomas Sowell for more examples of how fixing prices and a centralized allocation of prices and resources is terribly inneficient and it backfires terribly bring misery to entire countries:

Thank you to user on Hacker News that suggested this book in a comment a few years ago. It was eye opening and one of the most important books I've ever read.

by vfxdev   2021-12-10

A couple chapters into "Basic Economics", you get into why the government trying to manipulate prices can completely fuck everything up.


I'm not a CEO of a steel company, but I feel like a CEO of a steel company should know these things.

by Hayes_for_days   2021-12-10

Stalin was the opposite of perfect. He was a tyrant who stole from, imprisoned, and killed his political opponents. Whatever trend you're observing economically in the post-war period resulted from the reconstruction of half the globe after WWII, which created new jobs for everybody; it's the same reason the US economy boomed in the 1950s despite having a 90% top marginal tax rate, which was also bad policy. It had nothing to do with Stalin using the force of government to take from a bourgeoisie to give to the proletariat.

What's ironic is that you're telling me to stop blindly believing some made up propaganda when it seems like you're the one who has swallowed the communist kool aid. Do yourself a favor and put down Das Kapital and read this.

by CJ090   2021-12-10

here you go

by treeman79   2021-11-29
Read Basic Economics for a proper foundation.

Well meaning redistribution leads to lack of motivation. Why should I work hard if I get paid the same mentality. Leading to shortages.

Cruel competition causes people to work hard to produce the most goods with the least resources. Leading to surplus. Meaning poor people have access to far more now. So much so that historically poor people whom were skinny are now as fat as old world rich people. as food has gotten absurdly cheap.

by artificialLimbs   2021-11-12

This is a great primer for those completely unfamiliar:

by treeman79   2021-06-22
Oh my, next people will do basic research ( ) and start making sane decisions.
by jkhdigital   2021-02-26

by smitty1e   2021-02-03
Those who do not understand Thomas Sowell[1] are doomed to wonder why reality never quite conforms to their conceits.


by seibelj   2020-10-19
> Every year, we think that this cannot possibly continue, and every year it does.

> Until now. As covid and wildfire smoke have atomized us all into whatever living space we can afford, and into a grid of separate video boxes on a screen, the place as it was no longer exists. The forces that kept people here are temporarily gone. Through cratering rents San Francisco is finally proving to opponents of growth that supply and demand apply to housing too.

Intelligent people will twist themselves in knots trying to disprove basic economics. I see long threads on HN all the time of brilliant people convinced that supply and demand is just "far too simple" or "totally disproved" etc. etc.

This book is a classic

by yaa_minu   2020-04-17
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Basic Economics[1] by Thomas Sowell.

It's a fairly detailed book but it's worth the time. If you're too busy to read a whole book, you might want to take a look at "Economics in One Lesson" [2] by Herny Hazlitt.

The foundation for economic education[3] has some great articles too about economics and public choice.

[1] [2] [3]

by RavenK9   2019-11-17

The bottom 20% and the top 1% are commonly used terms that have little to no real world relevance. For one, these statistics often ignore the age of their respective subjects and more importantly, they ignore the important fact that the great majority of people in both groups get out of their income bracket in under a decade. These statistics also omit the difference between income and wealth.

In politics, the "rich" and the "poor" are often portrayed as monolithic groups while they are in reality very much the opposite. Such reality does not create as much moral outrage and enticing headlines as one in which "the rich" exploits "the poor," and certainly reduces the need for the state to play the role of savior- which explains why it is readily ignored in politics.

The economist Dr. Thomas Sowell explains the fallacies behind these popular statistics in detail in his book Basic Economics, if you are interested.

by TheKillerTofu   2019-11-17

All due respect, you need to get educated before you have these conversations. You lack basic understanding of what economics means.

by ChillPenguinX   2019-11-17

Thomas Sowell does an excellent job of using anecdotes from the USSR in Basic Economics that demonstrate why it was doomed to fail. The two primary issues identified are the knowledge problem and the calculation problem, and both are pretty damning to the prospects of socialism working over the long term. Without the price system to communicate want and scarcity, and without the profit/loss system to communicate the efficiency of resource allocation, planned economies are doomed to squander and misallocate resources. On top of that, so few people placed in charge of making so many decisions could not possibly be expected to have the amount of knowledge necessary to compete with the dispersed knowledge of a free economy.

by kafkaBro   2019-11-17

Well since you so better at reading than me, you should check out this book by Stigler's protegee:

by [deleted]   2019-11-17

>My argument was that the Left has gone farther Left and the Right has also gone slightly farther Left. Nothing in your post even addressed my argument.

You didn't click the link I sent. This is factually wrong when it comes to Trump supporters. The data across many studies shows the opposite of your claim. Facts and data don't care about your precious feelings here.

> But it's so typical of a Leftist like you to be so brain washed you don't see that Democrats do the exact same thing. They were totally fine with Obama's wars, him saying that illegal aliens cannot come, etc.

Good job assuming I'm a leftist. Even if I was, you're not attacking the argument.

Did Obama invade Iraq and Afghanistan, creating a power vacuum?

Calling them "Obama's wars" is stupid at worst, disingenuous at best. If you're referring to Libya, no liberal was for it and liberals on this site were constantly blowing up reddit regarding drone strikes.

And of course leftists were fine with saying illegal aliens can't come, they're illegal SMH. What is not ok is separating children from their families, that was NOT an Obama-era policy. Every left leaning person I've spoken to wants immigration reform. It's clear you don't have the faintest idea of the major differences between Obama's policies and Trumps

Take a read, educate yourself.

>You're acting like a basic rule of politics across time and cultures is some unique failing of conservatives.

You must be very young.

Here is a step by step history written by an author who voted conservative.

This is just one of many facets where it's a unique failing of conservatives.

I'll end by saying this: The sign of being an adult is when you are faced with facts and truths that are opposite of your understanding, you CHANGE your view, not dig yourself in deeper like a trump supporter does.

Much like how I battle with leftists on GMO's, Vaccine Safety, and guns. I can easily weed out who is an adult vs a grown child by how they digest facts and change their views when confronted with counter-evidence.

So back to the point, leftists/democrats haven't shifted much according to the data. Conservatives/Trump Voters have done 180's, throwing their credibility to the wind.

If you'd like to learn more about how Trump's economic plans will not deliver on any of his promises, here is a book suggestion.

by snatchinyosigns   2019-07-21

Basic Economics

by mirroredfate   2019-07-21

From an economics perspective:

  • Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell
  • The Road to Serfdom, F. A. Hayek
  • Wealth of Nations

From a social perspective:

  • The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater
  • On Liberty, John Stuart Mill
  • The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • The Undiscovered Self: The Dilemma of the Individual in Modern Society, Carl Jung

From a moral perspective:

  • Mere Christianity
  • The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

There's many more than just these, and there's a lot of underlying philosophy that modern conservationism is based on. I'd also categorize these books as a basis for "intellectual conservatism" as opposed to say "cultural conservatism". Something to note is that little of the conservative mindset is focused on policy and politics, per se. There is instead a strong emphasis on personal action and collective culture, the value of morals, and a focus on introspection. So while these books will perhaps help you understand a conservative perspective better, they will not likely provide a good basis for engaging in political debate. For that maybe you want a book by Ben Shapiro or something.

by stillcleaningmyroom   2019-07-21

Here, do yourself a favor.