Reasonably Simple Economics: Why the World Works the Way It Does
The goal of Reasonably Simple Economics is, not surprisingly, simple: to help us think like economists. When we do, so much of the world that seemed mysterious or baffling becomes more clear and understandable—improving our lives and providing new tools to succeed in business and career.
In a chatty style, economist Evan Osborne explains the economic foundations behind the things we read about or see in the news everyday:
- Why prices for goods and services are what they are
- How government spending, regulation, and taxation can both hinder and help the economy
- Why and how some people get fabulously rich
- How entrepreneurs reorganize society beneficially
- Why markets sometimes fail and when or if governments should intervene when they do
- How economics and statistics can explain such things as discrimination in hiring and providing services (and why discriminators are shooting themselves in the foot), why we’re smarter than we’ve ever been, and how technology makes the idea of Earth’s “carrying capacity” meaningless
Along the way, you will learn the basic concepts of economics that well-educated citizens in democratic countries should know, like scarcity, opportunity cost, supply and demand, all the different ways economies are "managed," and more.
In the manner of The Armchair Economist, The Undercover Economist, or Naked Economics, Osborne uses current examples to illustrate the principles that underlie tragedies like the Greek economy or the global market meltdown of 2008, and triumphs like the continuing dominance of Silicon Valley in the tech world or why New York City markets are stuffed with goods despite the difficulty in getting them there.
As Osborne points out, the future, in economic terms, has always been better than the past, and he shows you how to use that knowledge to improve your life both intellectually and materially.
What you’ll learn
- How to think like an economist and better understand the world and your place in it
- Basic economic concepts like supply and demand and marginal costs and benefits
- How and why people “respond to incentives,” and why this is a life-changing idea
- Why “the crowd” is invariably wise and what to learn from it
- Why speculators and "middlemen" improve life not just for themselves but for the rest of us
- Why living standards have risen dramatically in the last century and why they will continue to as time marches on
- Why taking advantage of "decentralized knowledge" to pounce on opportunity is critical for your success
Who this book is for
The audience for this book is anyone who wants to know answers to such questions as why the price of gasoline rises and falls dramatically, whether we are in fact “mortgaging our children’s future” through deficit spending, what the economic principles behind every great fortune are, and anything else governed by the principles of economics (which is most things).
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Supply and Demand, Considered Separately
Chapter 3. Supply and Demand, Considered Together
Chapter 4. The Economics of Information or Knowledge
Chapter 5. Public and Private Decision Making
Chapter 6. Who Makes How Much, and Why
Chapter 7. The Middleman and the Entrepreneur
Chapter 8. Time and Risk
Chapter 9. The Entrepreneur and Some Economics of the Future
Chapter 10. T he Things Only Government Can Do
Chapter 11. Macroeconomics: The Big, Often Blurry Picture
Chapter 12. Macroeconomics: Stabilizing the Economy, or Not
Chapter 13. Macroeconomics: The Short and the Long Runs