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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One Revised and Enlarged Edition » User review

An abundance of common sense in this volume.

  • Nov 28, 2008
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Throughout "Applied Economics" author Thomas Sowell continually tries to impress the reader of the importance of "thinking beyond stage one".  As Sowell so artfully points out "stage one thinking" is part and parcel of a great many politicians these days.  As an economics major myself (many years ago) I was anxious to see how Sowell would argue the conservative case on many of these issues.  I must say he makes his points eloquently and with great clarity.  Readers who tend to be liberal in their thinking should read  "Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One Revised and Enlarged Edition if for no other reason than to understand conservative reasoning.  But I do think it quite plausable that Sowell's well thought out arguments might just change some minds about some of these basic economic issues.

I was particularly impressed with Sowell's presentation on health care and housing.  Having done a fair amount of reading on how expensive it is for drug companies to develop a new drug I agree with Sowell when he argues against the re-importation of drugs from Canada.  Now that may appear cruel on the surface but if drug manufacturers are not allowed to recoup their costs of developing these new drugs then there is really very little incentive for them to develop new drugs. In countries where drug prices are artificially held down by government intervention virtually no new drugs are discovered.   Just think of the costs to our people if that were to occur here in the United States. 
Likewise, Thomas Sowell argues vehemently against policies like "rent control" and excessive "open space" laws in the housing arena.  Such policies inevitably create shortages of well maintained rental units and new homes alike.   The result: higher prices for those seeking an apartment or new home.  This is not rocket science the author is discussing here...just cold hard economic facts.

I tend to part company with conservatives on environmental issues.  I am not at all sure that laissez-faire policies are the best way to go. I nterestingly enough Sowell does not address the environment in this particular book.  I would love to hear his arguments.  All in all, this is a well written and easy to understand book.   "Applied Economics:  Thinking Beyond Stage One" should be required reading for anyone intending to vote.     Very highly recommended.
An abundance of common sense in this volume.

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review by . December 27, 2009
Many political considerations have the underlying economic dimensions. In fact, probably every political decision has major economic ramifications. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to discern all of those ramifications and the consequences of those decisions that come up further down the road sometimes take time to manifest themselves. This book provides the reader with some basic tools of analysis in order to fully appreciate some of the major political issues of today. The main focus is on …
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This revised edition of Applied Economics is about fifty percent larger than the first edition. It now includes a chapter on the economics of immigration and new sections of other chapters on such topics as the “creative” financing of home-buying that led to the current “subprime” mortgage crisis, the economics of organ transplants, and the political and economic incentives that lead to money earmarked for highways being diverted to mass transit and to a general neglect of infrastructure. On these and other topics, its examples are drawn from around the world. Much material in the first edition has been updated and supplemented. The revised and enlarged edition of Applied Economics retains the easy readability of the first edition, even for people with no prior knowledge of economics.

Thomas Sowell Thomas Sowell has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has published in both academic journals in such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine and Fortune, and writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.

--Basic Books
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ISBN-10: 0465003451
ISBN-13: 978-0465003457
Author: Thomas Sowell
Genre: Development & Growth, Economic Policy & Development, Policy & Current Events, Red Politics
Publisher: Basic Books
Date Published: December 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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