Basic Economics

Category: Business & Finance
Author: Thomas Sowell
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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]https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowel/dp/04650... [2] https://fee.org/media/14946/economicsinonelesson.pdf [3] https://fee.org

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

https://www.amazon.com.au/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465060730

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: https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465060730

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.

http://thegreatrecession.info/blog/deficits-debts-democrats-vs-republicans-us-national-debt-graphs-year-president/

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 https://www.amazon.com/dp/0465060730/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_2-ZSCb0VTCP1Y

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.

https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465060730

by CptMoistPanties   2019-07-21

I see a lot of people asking about "living wages" in the comments

https://www.usnews.com/education/community-colleges

usnews has a list of community colleges by state, the vast majority offer introductory economics classes. Tuition for community colleges is usually under 1k for a semester, which is within everyones reach with careful saving and spending habits.

You can also learn basic economics by doing the research yourself:

https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465060730

there are websites and a plethora of pdf documents that you can read online for info as well:

https://www.thoughtco.com/economics-for-beginners-4140372

Happy reading!

by AlphaTangoFoxtrt   2019-07-21

> Accept cash for an online social media service? Are you well in the head, mate?

Yes, you have a physical address do you not? Could even get a PO box.

>Bitcoin, the service which goverments are actively trying to contain and is super volatile. Yeah, sound investment, guy.

And which is still going strong and holding steady despite having the bubble (predictably) burst? yes, it is.

>But, if you are content with getting fucked over into being a serf willing to drink leadwater all so you can claim to believe in this fanciful idea which will literally never happen, I can't convince you. I can only laugh at you.

Yawn. Same tired argument that falls apart when you realize in a market economy where people are free to choose you need to provide the best service and everyone is uplifited.

Here's some reading material for ya

by PM_ME_UR_TECHNO_GRRL   2019-07-21

Here you go.

http://www.aei.org/publication/stagnating-wages-dont-tell-the-whole-story/

As for the rest of your comments, you again show ignorance

> Sure, I’m just telling you that this is not nor has it ever been the current state of things.

... or faulty reasoning

> Of course there has. Redistribution. That’s what taxation is. We alleviate poverty (or at least the suffering related to poverty like starvation and homelessness) by shifting money from those who have it to those who need it.

and I have been in enough internet arguments to know there is no chance of this ending any time soon. So I leave you with books to read

Naked economics, very accessible

https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Economics-Undressing-Dismal-Science-ebook/dp/B07FB1NPNY/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1549832108&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=naked+economics

Basic Economics, well recommended

https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465060730/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1549832161&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=thomas+sowell+basic+economics

And something to get you to think about things objectively, when you're ready: Macroeconomics

https://www.amazon.com/Macroeconomics-6th-Olivier-Blanchard/dp/0133061639/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1549832256&sr=8-2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=olivier+blanchard%2C+macroeconomics+7th+edition&dpPl=1&dpID=41qnmgYJD5L&ref=plSrch

by FallingPinkElephant   2019-07-21

In the hopes one of you kids will actually read a book for once. Here's some recommendations for you morons.

https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465060730

https://www.amazon.com/Economics-One-Lesson-Shortest-Understand/dp/0517548232

You'd think in a subreddit of Detroit of all places would have personal experience and understand these things intuitively without me having to spell it out for you.

by User-31f64a4e   2019-07-21

Godlike intellectual? You, sir, are a poster boy for the Dunning Kruger effect.

Perhaps you need to begin with this.

by NihilisticHotdog   2019-01-13

Wow, I'm seriously explaining this to someone on a debate forum.

> So, they move money from one rich person to another?

No, this applies to everyone with credit, loans, savings/checking accounts, and investments.

What do you think interest is?

Say you open up a Merril Edge account with BOA, they are able to store your money and give you some percentage atop of it depending on how much risk you take.

At no point are you forced to invest. You merely do so because you value future gains over access to that money immediately.

The bank, then lends your money as well as the money of many others in big lump sums to certain corporations and individuals. They promise to pay that money back with interest.

Additionally, depending on how much risk you wish to take on, the bank also buys stock in aggregate, using part of your money and the money of others.

> Yeah, so you are going to start a corporation by borrowing money from a corporation thru another corporation (a bank) so then you can lend money to another guy who wants to start another corporation in order to make more money? Where is any of this benefitting society?

I think I understand what you're saying. A corporation creates profit by providing immense amounts of value to people - which is how it makes money. For one reason or another, the corporation invests in securities(stocks/bonds).

So, without that initial startup investment from the bank/investors, the corporation likely wouldn't exist. By investing, the corporation allows other corporations to come into existence and provide value for many others.

Simply put, it's an equation of valuing money now vs valuing more money in the future(with some risk).

> So they make decisions to protect their own wealth like literally everyone else, how does that make them useful to society?

I addressed this. They allow efficient allocation of societal capital.

> By "overly confine" you mean bail them out and give them "free" money when they fucked up?

What are you talking about? The banks didn't have the wacky regional restrictions we did in the US.

> Yeah, so if you have money you give someone money and make money? Again, how is society being benefitted?

I addressed this repeatedly. At its most simplest, if I'm paying you to give me $50,000 immediately, it means that you're immensely valuable to me. You are benefiting society by giving my something I value. If I am able to pay you back, it means I've used your investment, earned it back, and with the interest I promised. The only way I can pay it back is to provide some service and benefit to others. That's why people paid me.

> Link one

Possibly the best and most succinct option

by elduckbell   2019-01-13

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0465060730

Literally all of part 1 is about rent control

by CerebralPsychosis   2019-01-13

I would like to summarize JBP's position. Capitalism is not the best system but it works. It sucks on certain cases but it works. Also socialists ( most of them but a few are genuine caring individuals driven by compassion and horror at the poverty of the people. Most hate the rich , also George Orwell commentated on that in his book road to Wigan pier.) They seek to correct a system without correcting themselves first which proves they cannot correct the system. Also poverty is declining due to capitalism and it allows for creativity and a system which is in tune with natural law of inequality and the 80/20 rule.

as long as there is income and output there will be hierarchy and inequality. Humanity is corrupt and it will have corruption in every human endeavour.

also any system which tries to work against the natural law fails and falls short for numerous reasons.

Socialism cannot work in a psychological way due to human nature.

by the way , not my position , just a summary ( plenty of paraphrasing )

here are references https://youtu.be/f-wWBGo6a2w

https://youtu.be/6G59zsjM2UI

https://youtu.be/I8Xc2_FtpHI

here are some of Jordan’s looks on economics. https://youtu.be/bOMksnSaAJ4

https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Factfulness#

[https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0465060730)

by ArcFault   2018-11-10

Mercantilism called they want their nonsense back.

You do not have a basic understanding of economics and you use terms that don't mean what you think they mean.

>Those funds won't come back if there's no reason for them to.

Actually it's called comparative advantage, you should look into it.

Please invest in yourself - https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0465060730

You have no clue what you're talking about. Trade deficits are not as big a problem as brain deficits.

by Lucifirius   2018-11-10

Huh, only one of those books is actually real, and I can guarantee that no commie has ever read it.

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0465060730

by HeyZeusChrist   2018-11-10

>If you don't want healthcare to be cheaper and better at the same time, you're a fool. That's the bottom line here. You are refusing a product that's better and cheaper.

That's freedom!
I get to voluntarily choose what services I want.
Just because my lawn cutting service is better and cheaper doesn't mean you should be forced to buy into it. Even if it's only costing you a dollar per year. If you don't own a yard, my service is irrelevant to you.

Say it with me, freedom is not the federal government coercing others into providing free things to people.

> >It's not even about whether it's a right, public healthcare is cheaper with better outcomes than the private sector. Say it with me again. Public healthcare is cheaper with better outcomes than the private sector.

One, it is in fact about whether or not it's a right because the federal government's job is to protect our rights.

Coercion is not moral and therefore not the way to provide services to people when they can simply be provided in a way that is voluntary and consensual.

If someone wants to choose not to have healthcare then that is their right. Coercion is not okay. That's like saying slavery is okay because it provides a cheap result.
Stealing from the rich is okay because it provides a cheap result.

Two, public healthcare is not cheaper with better outcomes than the private sector.

> >At least it sounds like you would be ok with a public option to buy into medicare. But still, you are a fool in my opinion. And seriously, did the part where you only make 30k and wouldn't have to pay more in taxes mean anything to you? WE WANT TO TAX THE RICH! Again, not you, THE RICH! Who can easily afford it. You can have the last word if you want, I'm done here.

I care about voluntary consent.
Call me a fool all you want but at least I have a sense of morality.

Just because you want something doesn't mean you have the right to coerce people into giving it to you. Just because 4/5 people vote to rob you at gun point because you have something they don't doesn't make it okay.

It's a slippery slope and declaring it's for the best is not your right to impose onto other people who do not consent.

The more you tax the rich the more they move their services away from you leaving you with nothing. And then what happens? HEALTHCARE FAILS
People shouldn't be penalized for doing well.

Here, take a second to think outside your comfort zone.
When was the last time the United States Parcel Service did something really innovative? I'd argue in the very beginning but that's about it. Fed Ex and UPS provide a better service at a lower cost in a moral way.
The DMV is a nightmare. When was the last time they really innovated? You don't think the DMV is a service that could be handled by the free market? The roads are shit. You really think the government is the only one capable of building a road?
Social Security and Medicare are some of the largest costs to Americans meanwhile they are not only failing at a rapid rate but the free market is solving problems.

https://youtu.be/VPADFNKDhGM

https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/0465060730