Monday, April 20, 2015

Recommended reading

I can highly recommend John Tamny's new book, Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You about Economics. John is a long-time supply-side friend and a solid thinker who knows how to make complex issues simple to understand.

George Will praised Tamny's book in a recent column, calling him "a one-man antidote to economic obfuscation and mystification." George Leef also praised the book, and proffers a good distillation of its contents.

This book should be required reading for high school, college, and graduate school econ classes. Instead of signing pledges, politicians should simply declare they have read the book and can't find anything wrong with it. It's especially timely, since many of the issues discussed in the book are at the heart of important national debates (e.g., wealth inequality, the estate tax, government regulation, progressive taxation).

To compile this sampling of the many economic truths he lays out and explains in simple terms with examples that come straight from daily life, I've simply drawn from the titles of the books' chapters:
Taxes are nothing more than a price placed on work 
When we tax corporations, we rob them of their future
Government spending has never created a job 
Budget deficits don't really matter—government spending does
Capital gains are what really drive innovation 
The best way to "spread the wealth" is to abolish the estate tax 
Weath inequality is beautiful 
Government regulation almost never works 
Anti-trust laws are counter-productive 
Outsourcing is great for workers 
Falling prices for computers are not deflationary
Energy independence would be economically crippling 

If some of these strike you as very wrong (and I'm sure many will), I urge you to read the book. There's a good chance you will discover you haven't thought about these issues in the right way.

Thanks, John, for this much-needed contribution to economic wisdom.


Andrew Ross said...

Was recently asked to run for public office (Board of Education for our local school district). Received plenty of signatures on my petition and turned it it. So, I'll be facing an election shortly. Not sure if that makes me the type of politician you had in mind, but I'll read the book anyways.

Scott Grannis said...

I had any and all politicians in mind. Hope you enjoy the book!

Unknown said...

Great book!!

Thanks for the recommendation!

I see you have recommended blogs but don't see a recommended reading list.

Please point me to it if you have one or perhaps consider establishing one if you don't.