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Economic Theory

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Gaucho posted on Wed, Jun 6 2012 8:26 AM

I read the Human Action and also Man Economy and State. Currently I am in economics discussion with a Keynsian neighbor. He is open to speak with me because I don't attack.

He admitted he does not know anything about economics so he wanted to read a college book in economics. I told him that most books in colleges are written from a Keynes perspective like Samuelson as an example.

So I suggested to read a standard economics book plus an Austrian economic book.

Economics in One Lesson is one option ... what other options are out there to read basic economics from both perspectives?

My goal is to invite Keynes oriented people, commit to read their book if they commit to read mine.

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Case for Capitalism, by Kelly?

My humble blog

It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

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Suggested by Anenome

I recommend "Basic Economics" by Thomas Sowell.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Lately I saw more of his videos on youtube.

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This morning John and I went for a walk and in full honest disclosure I told him that I was reaching out to the Libertarian minded community to find a book ... so he said ... well most Colleges teach Keynes ... I had no argument against that ... then he continues saying he will read a book about the world being flat.

I told him that if he is not intellectually ready to read something different and continue with his "confirmation bias" of only reading a point of view that agrees with him, that is not open minded. I am starting to call on this attitude.

Going further. A textbook suggestion would be nice to have and propose it..

Thank you.

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Suggested by Anenome

I'm confused.  Did you tell him that most colleges teach Keynes?

 

I gather you're looking for textbooks.  You may be interested in this, collection of syllabi from actual instructors of actual classes:

The Syllabus Project

You might also check out the resources mentioned here.  In particular the Mises Classroom, and you can download the lectures for the Home Study Course here, and nearly all the texts used in the course can be downloaded for free (in audio and digital text) on the Mises.org site (to see what those are, the lesson plan & study guide is here (PDF).  And for more advanced study, the Mises Academy offers plenty of excellent courses.

 

Books

Lessons for the Young Economist

Free Market Economics: A Syllabus

Economics for Real People

An Introduction to Economic Reasoning

Basic Economics

Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics

Common Sense Economics

 

Granted these are of varying length and scope, and they are not all written in typical "textbook" format, but they are all text focusing on basic issues of economics.

 

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You are correct. I am a Libertarian and my friend John said he wanted to read a textbook from any college and "I" told him that most sylabus in the establishment teaches the Keynesian school.

His reply was ... if most of the schools teach that, then ... doesn't that mean that the Keynesian method is better?

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Tell him only 200 years ago most medical academies taught that bloodletting was a potential cure for illness because of "bad blood" in your system (which got there for any of a number of reasons), and that letting your blood (often times with leeches) would allow the bad blood to get out.

Ignaz Semmelweis was basically shunned by the medical community for suggesting illness was being caused by invisible substances and that doctors should wash their hands when dealing with patients (particularly birthing mothers).  He was condemned for believing in "spooks", and in some cases doctors risked losing their right to practice medicine if they were caught washing their hands.

This was cutting edge medicine not so long ago.

George Washington was killed by medical doctors who used a combination of bloodletting and a mercury-based emetic to cause him to blister so that the blisters might pop and let out the "bad humors."

Just because something is widely accepted, doesn't mean it's right.

 

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Maybe the answer is what I think it is.... but how does he refer to himself as a Keynesian (does he?) while also admitting he does not know anything about economics?

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That is amazing. Thank you so much.

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John is Keynes Friendly ... in the sense he accepts that when the economy goes bust, government intervention is good. He does not understand he is sacrificing the future, he thinks that when we are in a crisis we should not worry about the future.

So, with this background, John accepts the Keynes principles of interventionism. Does not believe that Keynes was a member of the Fabian Society.

I need to put in his hands a book that will be palatable to him. The challenge I proposed was for me to swallow his medicine, I will read his book, defend it and attack it.

Also we will both read a Libertarian book which has to be defended and attacked.

So my little snail campaign is to invite Keynesian folks to read our side of the story and to do that we need to read theirs.

I told him that is not fair to ask him to do something I am not willing to do.

 

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Sounds good.  You might also check here for suggestions:

One Book for Capitalism

 

But if you're mostly focused on economics, I'd say go with Lessons for the Young Economist.  Or maybe How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes.  Perhaps even Meltdown.

 

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Gaucho:
I need to put in his hands a book that will be palatable to him. The challenge I proposed was for me to swallow his medicine, I will read his book, defend it and attack it.

I would highly recommend "Basic Economics" in this case then, as it seeks to do two things:

1. To be an introductory economics textbook that doesn't rely on dry boring math, charts, or stats, but to get across principles in an engaging way that is readable, entertaining by using real-world examplesm, and...

2. To make people realize the secondary effects of economic policy. Sowell calls this 'Thinking beyond stage One' which is a theme he introduces in this book and continues in his followup "Applied Economics".

Because of these goals, this book is politically pertinent, rather than avoiding any political issues at all as most textbooks would.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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My real issue with Basic Economics is that it's sheer size doesn't really lend it to a wide audience.  Sure it's readable, but it doesn't matter how well it's written, people are generally going to have to be pretty self motivated to pick up and actually read through an 800 page tome...let alone one on a scientific subject such as economics.

Plus, as a Chicagoan, Sowell doesn't get into the basic concepts that make up Austrian methodology that form the basis of sound economic reasoning.  I think it's important for a beginner to have this foundation.

This is why I recommend the texts I did.

 

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John James:

My real issue with Basic Economics is that it's sheer size doesn't really lend it to a wide audience.  Sure it's readable, but it doesn't matter how well it's written, people are generally going to have to be pretty self motivated to pick up and actually read through an 800 page tome...let alone one on a scientific subject such as economics.

Plus, as a Chicagoan, Sowell doesn't get into the basic concepts that make up Austrian methodology that form the basis of sound economic reasoning.  I think it's important for a beginner to have this foundation.

This is why I recommend the texts I did.

Have you read it? I don't think it's as draconian as you think. For one thing, it's not very thick. The hardcover is 800 pages, okay, granted, but that's because they were very generous with the font size of the text in order to support the price--at least that's my read on the situation. I only read the soft-cover edition. And the softcover edition is 480 pages. So clearly there's a large font-size disparity between the two.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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