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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » How the Economy Works: Confidence, Crashes and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies » User review

Helping us understand what is really going on, instead of taking sides

  • Dec 8, 2010
  • by
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+3
The economy has been come quite a hot and controversial topic in modern times. This is due to what economic class people fall in and what their politic beliefs/stripes are and the current state of the economy in America (to note a couple). I will confess that I fall victim to these heuristics as well. In addition, if an individual wants to educate themselves on this topic it might become extremely challenging due to all the bias surrounding this intangible topic.

This leads me to this book, "How the Economy Works" by Roger E. A. Farmer, a Professor of Economics at UCLA. I found that Farmer's presentation is excellent with regards to the material at hand. It is my perception and opinion that Farmer has a done a brilliant job at not being bias or pointing fingers in his didactic clarification of economic fundamentals. In other words, if you are looking for a Liberal rag or GOP propaganda this is not the book for you. This book, for the most part, removes the "side taking game".

Farmer presents terms and concepts and defines them with reference to American and world history and provides some good exemplars to make these notions understandable. This book was published at the beginning of 2010, which allows this material to still be very fresh in the minds of Americans about the economic disintegration of 2008. From the bailout, the missteps of George W. Bush and the approaches President Obama has taken.

One of the reoccurring elements in this book is the theories of classical and Keynesian economics. The former is the notion that if left to its own vices the economy will balance itself with little influence from the government. The latter is the notion that more control and guidance from the government can prevent meltdowns. What I like about this book is that both frames of thoughts are praised and discredited. Leading to the assumption that absolution isn't the best way to deal with a quandary.

Farmer also provides his solution to the economic dilemma here in the United States. I will not go into details about his plan for amelioration, but it seems like this approach couldn't make things any worse. This book is 167 pages, not counting the references and a very handy glossary of key terms used throughout the book.

My qualms with the book are as follows: a couple of times Farmer will bring up a great topic and express that these elements can be explained further in one of his other books. There is nothing like promoting yourself by plugging in your own book, neo-marketing. For the most part Farmer's presentation is very good, a couple of times I was totally lost. He sometimes spoke in cant that is truly the tongue of an economist. I also felt his resolution for the economic crisis was rather rushed in the last four pages of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to try and understand the current state of the economy in America. It took me a little longer than I wanted to read this book. This is mainly due to my disgust with how the U.S. government, from President Obama all the way down to local government has deal with the economy in this country. I found myself thinking these notions are wonderful but will never be used, because it doesn't benefit government officials. I think that if even twenty percent of Farmer's plan were utilized it would only benefit America.

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More How the Economy Works: Confide... reviews
review by . December 08, 2010
Helping us understand what is really going on, instead of taking sides
The economy has been come quite a hot and controversial topic in modern times.  This is due to what economic class people fall in and what their politic beliefs/stripes are and the current state of the economy in America  (to note a couple).  I will confess that I fall victim to these heuristics as well.  In addition, if an individual wants to educate themselves on this topic it might become extremely challenging due to all the bias surrounding this intangible topic.   …
review by . February 03, 2010
Farmer certainly sets his sights high in this book; he seeks to explain the reasons for the economic downturns in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as well as the global financial meltdown of 2008-2009. Furthermore, Farmer also proposes a mechanism to fix the current system so events similar to 2008-2009 will not happen again. Finally, this is to be done in 167 pages and not use compact technical language.    While significant progress is made with all of these goals, the only one …
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Joshua E Hoppock ()
Ranked #111
It is rather brisk in this field. The leaves are descending like a tapestry of aloof dreams. The wind entices these leaves into a plume of whimsical billowing ontological paradox. Then I recall that I … more
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Details

ISBN-10: 0195397916
ISBN-13: 978-0195397918
Author: Roger E. A. Farmer
Genre: Business & Investing
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
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