If you enjoyed Freakonomics or The Undercover Economist, you’ll love The Best Book on the Market. Written by Eamonn Butler, best known as the Director of the Adam Smith Institute – and published by a Wiley imprint – it is set to shake up how the public thinks about economics.
Witty an easy to understand, it challenges the mathematic, quasi-scientific way that economics is often taught and gets back to a more human-centred way of thinking. It trashes the idea of “perfect competition”, often used as a stick to beat the market with, saying that: “the perfect world of the textbook explanations, where markets always balance, is a strange place indeed”.
The book covers everything from black markets to the futility of soldering up the price mechanism, from why speculators are good to the role of entrepreneurs and creative destruction. It says that “competition isn’t wasteful – competition is absolutely vital”. Auctions, honesty and trust get a look in too. Markets and the environment are covered – including how to deal with overfishing – and so is the morality of the market.
This is no dry book though. Dr Butler fills the book with stories – such as about the “black-haired Lanzhou seamstress” who he can’t speak to, and how his car mechanic dad dealt with stressed customers. This is an ideal gift for all those confused friends who just don’t get how markets make the world a better place.
The book can be purchased on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
Good stuff John.
Should be required reading for approximately 100% of British school and university teachers, of any subject whatever.