Basic 2021 2021 Economics online sale

Basic 2021 2021 Economics online sale

Basic 2021 2021 Economics online sale
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The bestselling citizen''s guide to economics

Basic Economics is a citizen''s guide to economics, written for those who want to understand how the economy works but have no interest in jargon or equations. Bestselling economist Thomas Sowell explains the general principles underlying different economic systems: capitalist, socialist, feudal, and so on. In readable language, he shows how to critique economic policies in terms of the incentives they create, rather than the goals they proclaim. With clear explanations of the entire field, from rent control and the rise and fall of businesses to the international balance of payments, this is the first book for anyone who wishes to understand how the economy functions.

This fifth edition includes a new chapter explaining the reasons for large differences of wealth and income between nations.

Drawing on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history, Sowell explains basic economic principles for the general public in plain English.

Review

“Clear and concise… Among economists of the past thirty years, Thomas Sowell stands very proud indeed.”― Wall Street Journal

Basic Economics is not only valuable for a general lay-person audience; it would also benefit lawyers, politicians, and yes, economists as well.”― Washington Times

Basic Economics is a healthy main course disguised as a rich dessert…Thomas Sowell’s smooth writing, irresistible logic, deep knowledge, and flawless economics make each page an explanatory treat to experts and novices alike.”
 ― Thomas Hazlett, Professor of Law & Economics and Director, Information Economy Project, George Mason University

“Badly needed…Anyone who has been subjected to biased and dreary economics textbooks should read Basic Economics as a bracing corrective.”― Claremont Review of Books

Basic Economics reveals in every chapter why Thomas Sowell is one of America’s greatest thinkers. It is must-reading for anyone who wants the truth about how the laws of economics govern so many of the events in our daily lives.”― Arthur C. Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute and author of The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future

Basic Economics demonstrates Thomas Sowell’s ability to make economics understandable to a person who hasn’t set foot in an economics class. It’s a book rich with explanations and examples of everyday economics issues.”― Walter E. Williams, John M. Olin Distinguished Professor Economics, George Mason University

“The unyielding truths of economics befuddle social engineers of all stripes. Thomas Sowell, in exemplary fashion, strips the mystery from those truths, making them intuitive—even obvious.”― David Boaz, Executive Vice President, Cato Institute and author of Libertarianism: A Primer

“[ Basic Economics, 4th Edition] covers the whole range of economic concerns…It eliminates the usual graphs and equations, presenting readable text instead that any reader might find convincing.”― Book News, Inc.

“Sowell’s volume [ Basic Economics, 4th Edition] does a fantastic job in cultivating the reader’s ‘economic imagination’…[Sowell] does a masterful job in helping to fill in the process of economic adjustment that blackboard equilibrium analysis often leaves out.”― Choice

“Thomas Sowell''s classic provides an engaging — and at times entertaining — crash course through economics and its application to public policy and personal finance…Sowell helps readers understand how economics applies to everyday life. It isn’t about revenue, profits, stocks and bonds, as much as it is about making choices…His language is eloquent, as well as accessible… Basic Economics is a useful guide for someone who wants to know more about how the business world operates and also how to interpret public policy proposals.”
 ― Deseret Morning News

“It [ Basic Economics, 4th Edition] is also one of the most — if not the most — lucid, comprehensive and eminently readable overviews of economics fundamentals you are ever likely to encounter.”― Redstate (blog)

“A valuable book… Basic Economics is a comprehensive, yet understandable explanation of how economics works…Sowell presents economics in prose that is easily understood and engaging to read… Basic Economics is one of those books anyone wishing to be an informed citizen should read — and it is interesting enough to make enjoyable reading.”
 ― The Daily News, Galveston County Texas

About the Author

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of dozens of books including Charter Schools and Their Enemies, winner of the 2021 Hayek Book Prize. He is the recipient of numerous other awards, including the National Humanities Medal, presented by the President of the United States in 2003.
 

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Top reviews from the United States

mathematician
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Intelligent, insightful, but unbalanced
Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2018
Not really an introduction to economics but more like a presentation of a point of view on economics. I enjoyed and learned a lot from this book. His arguments of the dangers/pitfalls of government regulation and interference in the market are convincing and insightful.... See more
Not really an introduction to economics but more like a presentation of a point of view on economics. I enjoyed and learned a lot from this book. His arguments of the dangers/pitfalls of government regulation and interference in the market are convincing and insightful. Unfortunately, this is not a balanced book, but rather one with an agenda of promoting his own point of view. As such, he only presents facts which support his case, mostly omitting anything which would go against it. For example, no mention that historically government regulation has stopped children from working long hours in dangerous factories, or stopped lead in gasoline from poisoning communities. If you accept that "some" regulation in markets is necessary for society, then he doesn''t do a good job in explaining what an effective regulation would be. From his arguments I can only surmise that he does not want any government involvement at all. I also don''t agree with the perspective that everything in society can be interpreted as a "market", including for example education. Unfortunately in today''s climate people seem to take to the extreme. It should be possible to understand and acknowledge a variety of points of view in a complex world, but this book does not present such a balanced perspective. For this reason, I would recommend the reader to think critically while reading and not just accept everything he says as the final word.
403 people found this helpful
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Carlton Michael Simmons Jr.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book was one of the main reasons why I no longer support Bernie Sanders and now a market anarchist.
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2017
Very well written and informative. It showed me just how wrong I was about how the economy functions and what Capitalism truly is. I realized that all of the policies I supported only felt good, didn''t address the true causes of problems, and would exacerbate them.
236 people found this helpful
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K. Wolf
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A must read for literally everyone. Everyone. Everyone.
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2018
Many of the other 5 star reviews explain better in words than I could just how profoundly important, yet easy to read, this book is. My only contribution to these reviews is to say that I see this book as being like "Freakonomics for grown ups". It offers... See more
Many of the other 5 star reviews explain better in words than I could just how profoundly important, yet easy to read, this book is. My only contribution to these reviews is to say that I see this book as being like "Freakonomics for grown ups". It offers excellent insight into economic phenomenons with relatable examples, without simply scratching the surface of the implications of such, as Freakonomics does.

Basic Economics has mass market value without obvious mass market appeal. A must read for literally everyone. Everyone. Everyone.
168 people found this helpful
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George Willikers
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Proof You Shouldn''t Judge a Book by its Cover
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2015
What sets Thomas Sowell apart from many economists and intellectuals is his ability to present complex ideas with both clarity and simplicity. As he himself once noted, "If academic writings were difficult because of the deep thoughts involved, that might be... See more
What sets Thomas Sowell apart from many economists and intellectuals is his ability to present complex ideas with both clarity and simplicity. As he himself once noted, "If academic writings were difficult because of the deep thoughts involved, that might be understandable, even if frustrating. Seldom is that the case, however. Jaw-breaking words often cover up very sloppy thinking." For Sowell, economics is no exception.

In Basic Economics, he reminds you that economics is the study of the use of scarce resources which have alternative uses. And with this fundamental truth in mind we see a master expositor at work. He derives many economic principles from this easily forgotten fact, offering you real-life examples along the way. This book was, of course, written for the layman. In fact, no prior knowledge of economics is needed before you read it. Yet the book is of such breadth and depth that economist Dr. Walter Williams says "it provides an understanding of some economic phenomena that might prove elusive to a Ph.D. economist."

As you read and become familiar with how Sowell thinks, you will yourself begin to think like an economist. You will learn to judge policies not by their proposed goals, but by the incentives they are likely to create, which may have the opposite effect of their intended goals. You will learn to think about not only a policy''s immediate effects, but also its effects in the long run, and not only its effects to a specific group of people, but to everyone. In the process, many of your long-held cherished beliefs may be challenged.

Consider, for instance, minimum wage laws. Sowell explains why increasing the price an employer must pay his employees--though put into law for benevolent reasons--can have unintended bad effects, like an increase in unemployment. He also explains why, for similar reasons, rent control decreases the quality of apartment buildings, or why lowering the price of gas can cause a shortage.

This 5th edition of Basic Economics includes a new chapter on international disparities in wealth. An insightful chapter, Sowell explains why some countries enjoy luxury while others suffer poverty, pointing to such commonly overlooked factors as geography and culture. Another addition is that this book ends with a section of questions covering important economic issues. If you don''t know the answer to a question, it tells you where in the book you can find it. This is especially helpful for someone forgetful like me, who must regularly return to refresh on economics. It''s also helpful for quizzing yourself to see how well you understood the information.

To say that Sowell''s books have boring covers and titles is an understatement. But they provide strong evidence for the claim that "you shouldn''t judge a book by its cover." I recommend this book as a must-read to everyone, not just to aspiring economists. (I also highly recommend Henry Hazlitt''s Economics in One Lesson.) However, I would be remiss if I did not include in this review any drawbacks, and there''s a big one. Basic Economics will leave you more pessimistic for your country than before you opened it.
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Bob Lewis
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Should be required reading
Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2020
How many of the people offering their opinions on economic policy have ever bothered to open a book on the subject? Particularly in our era of social media and increasingly democratized knowledge, there is a great need for widespread literacy in fields such as economics.... See more
How many of the people offering their opinions on economic policy have ever bothered to open a book on the subject? Particularly in our era of social media and increasingly democratized knowledge, there is a great need for widespread literacy in fields such as economics. Of course we don''t all need to actually become economists, but there is a certain need for all of us to learn some of the basic ideas. We should be able to tell whether proposed economic policy, for instance, is based on sound theory or whether it''s based on faulty or self-serving reasoning. This book provides the information non-economists require to more competently engage with the economic issues about which we read in our daily newspapers.

As the title suggests, this isn''t a book of advanced economic theory. It''s easily accessible to any reader, and instead of lengthy discussions of abstract mathematical models, it adheres to a narrative format that holds the reader''s interest more than most books on the subject might do.

Its strength is also its weakness, however. In his quest to render economics accessible, Sowell gave us a book with, as he explicitly tells us in the early pages, no graphs and no equations. While this might be to the book''s advantage in terms of readability for non-mathematicians or non-economists, it is at the same time to the book''s disadvantage in terms of persuasive power of the arguments. I don''t just say that because I have a mathematical background and actually enjoy reading equations (though I do), but because a mathematical argument can add a lot to a verbal argument. While the vast majority of the book contains statements that are arguably self-evident, I would have welcomed some more quantitative argumentation to further support the claims. It''s all very well to say that certain economic policies lead to certain results, but some data illustrating the point would have been even better. Similarly, the book lacks detailed citations for many of its claims, which likewise reduces its persuasive power.

Ultimately, this isn''t probably the best book for you if you want to learn economics at a fairly serious level. On the other hand, if you''re a casual reader who just wants to learn the tools necessary for understanding the economic arguments in the newspapers, this is exactly the book you need. Perhaps if certain members of Congress had read it, certain economic catastrophes could have been avoided.
30 people found this helpful
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David Taylor
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Ddemonstrates effective critical thinking to how economies work
Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2017
Somehow or another, Thomas Sowell only recently came across my radar. And since, I''ve listened to countless of his speeches, talks, and interviews on YouTube. I decided to purchase this 5th ed. of Basic Economics and I have not been disappointed. He writes in a very... See more
Somehow or another, Thomas Sowell only recently came across my radar. And since, I''ve listened to countless of his speeches, talks, and interviews on YouTube. I decided to purchase this 5th ed. of Basic Economics and I have not been disappointed. He writes in a very readable and compelling style so that his presentation of economics is very interesting and applicable. I am learning many things about how the economy works. For instance, living in Florida under the annual danger of hurricanes where the Governor can step in to prevent "price gouging," I was particularly interested in Sowell''s explanation of the benefits of "price gouging" in that it creates an incentive for sellers to rush "to the area where the hurricane is likely to strike, before the hurricane actually gets there" in order to make additional profit. While this seems heartless, it benefits the economy because much needed supplies are provided and sellers get to make a little extra money doing it. Insert "price gouging" controls and these additional resources never arrive. Remove these controls and, as Sowell says, "Skyrocketing local prices can overcome the reluctance to take on these local obstacles that entail additional costs. Moreover, each supplier has incentives to try to be the first to arrive on the scene, since that is when prices will be highest, before additional suppliers arrive and their competition drives prices back down." Sowell goes on to say "But if only the usual prices in normal times can be expected, there is less incentive to incur the extra costs of rushing things to an area where disaster is expected to strike." What Sowell admits, is that everyone is greedy - the buyer and seller alike - so go ahead and keep the scales of greed balanced rather than over-balance it to one side or the other because "people tend to do more for their own benefit than for the benefit of others." When price controls like this are in effect - tipping the scales of greed in the favor of the buyer - people are more likely to buy much more than they may need leaving very few supplies for others while sellers are disincentivized from supplying more because there is no reward in it for them. But if the market were permitted to set its own prices, it would force us greedy buyers to ration how much we buy thus leaving resources for others to buy, forcing everyone to ration on their own. This was an argument I''d never heard of before and would love see any data on how it has played out anywhere, assuming it has been permitted to.

I''m still plowing through the book though I''ve read several chapters but not in order. I certainly recommend this book because it demonstrates effective critical thinking to how economies work.
64 people found this helpful
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audiolipbalm
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Graceful writing, tendentious content
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2020
Sowell''s long experience in the field of economics allows him to present some concepts in a magisterial prose, for instance, his Hayekian description of spontaneous order arising from millions of decisions made across time and space through the coordinating mechanism of... See more
Sowell''s long experience in the field of economics allows him to present some concepts in a magisterial prose, for instance, his Hayekian description of spontaneous order arising from millions of decisions made across time and space through the coordinating mechanism of prices.

However, most of Sowell''s concern in this book is purely partisan; he has particular policies he despises, and relies on cherry-picking of evidence to argue against them. Extended polemics against particular policy ideas constitute a big chunk of this book, and separate this from a standard textbook introduction. Whereas the former might devote a couple of pages to minimum wage laws, for instance, Sowell devotes a whole chapter.

A standard textbook might frame policies in terms of trade-offs. Sowell gives lip service to trade offs, i.e. policies have winners and losers, and need to be analyzed in the context of conflicts of interest. But when it comes to policies Sowell disagrees with, they''re excoriated as all bad, and worse, irrational. Sadly, his strong beliefs on these matters cause him to present only evidence which agrees with his preconceived notions, and to disregard anything that doesn''t sit well with him.

Let''s take one concrete example from the book: rent control. Sowell gives a case study of rent control policies during and after WWII. At the time, there was a serious housing shortage in the US. Why? Well, one might think that factors such as the lack of housing stock as a holdover from the Great Depression (a 90% drop in new home construction between 1925 and 1933), priority demand for raw materials in the war industries (wartime orders resulted in almost no new home construction during the war), pent-up consumer demand, compounded by a 15 million-strong returning population of veterans in search of homes after the war, etc. could have conceivably played a role in this.

Nope. Not according to Sowell. For Sowell, there was one reason and one reason alone for the housing shortage: rent control (nevermind that the housing shortage also extended to houses for sale, but let''s ignore that for now). Sowell remarks that "when rent control ended after World War II, the housing shortage quickly disappeared." The implication being that, by repealing rent control, supply problems were thereby eliminated. However, this already-questionable claim to causation is made even more dubious when one considers some other salient features of the housing market during the post-war period. One of the most obvious of these factors was the establishment of a generous government entitlement in 1944, known today as the GI bill. Between 1944 and 1952, the government backed nearly 2.4 million home loans for returning veterans. Important evidence and crucially relevant facts such as these are, however, completely ignored by Sowell, since they might undermine his laissez-faire agenda.

In summary, a good starting point for understanding libertarian perspectives on economics, but tread cautiously, and supplement with a good deal of independent readings of history and economic theory.
18 people found this helpful
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Carmen A.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Before we ask for more government interventions let''s read this book!
Reviewed in the United States on February 2, 2018
A well put together book on understanding basic principles of economics. Thomas Sowell conveys a solid explanation of how markets work when allowed to function freely and when under intervention from the government or other groups. Worth the time for those who truly wish to... See more
A well put together book on understanding basic principles of economics. Thomas Sowell conveys a solid explanation of how markets work when allowed to function freely and when under intervention from the government or other groups. Worth the time for those who truly wish to grasp the science behind economics.
39 people found this helpful
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mister tom
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Basic Economics, oder: Was jeder Mensch über Ökonomie wissen sollte!
Reviewed in Germany on September 18, 2018
(Zum Zeitpunkt der Rezension las ich 50% des Buches; Negatives kommt am Ende zur Sprache) Das Buch wurde von Thomas Sowell, der in den 1960ern als Schwarzer an Harvard studierte, und die affirmative actions aufs schärfste verurteilt, geschrieben! Alleine das ist Grund genug...See more
(Zum Zeitpunkt der Rezension las ich 50% des Buches; Negatives kommt am Ende zur Sprache) Das Buch wurde von Thomas Sowell, der in den 1960ern als Schwarzer an Harvard studierte, und die affirmative actions aufs schärfste verurteilt, geschrieben! Alleine das ist Grund genug das Buch in die Hand zu nehmen. Sowell erklärt sehr genau (teilweise zu genau) wie die Wirtschaft funktioniert, bzw. wie sich verschiedene Eingriffe des Staates in die Wirtkschaft auswirken. Er zeigt mit einer unglaublichen Anzahl an Beispielen aus den verschiedensten Teilen der Welt und zu unterschiedlichsten Zeiten, wie das Prinzip von Angebot und Nachfrage bis ins Detail funktionieren. Man merkt ihm dabei an, dass er seine Theorien nicht auf Ideologien basiert, sondern auf Beobachtungen des Marktes. Ein Beispiel: Mietpreisdeckelung. Es hat mich zutiefst erstaunt, wie Sowell mit Beispielen erklärte, dass eine staatlich verordnete Mietpreisbremse mehr negative Konsequenzen nach sich zieht, als wenn man den Markt freie Hand lässt. Noch mehr erstaunte mich, dass alles was er über Mietpreisdeckelung in seinem Buch vorhersagt 1:1 in Wien beobachtbar ist! Wenn ein Staat die Mieten deckelt passieren mehrere Dinge: 1. Bauträger nehmen Abstand vom Bau neuer Immobilien, da der Immobilienmarkt einen der langsamsten Umschlagraten hat, Kapital also tröpfchenweise (über mehrere Jahre und durch kleine Zahlungen (Mieten)) wieder reinbekommt. Deckelt man Mieten, dauert der Umschlag noch länger. Und Bauträger bauern entweder in anderen Gegenden (wo sie entsprechende Miete für ihre Leistung bekommen), oder sie bauen Eigentumswohnungen (wo sie das Kapital sofort wieder bekommen, und das verlangen dürfen, was die Wohnung wert ist). Mittel- und Geringverdiener können sich Eigentumswohnungen nur schwer leisten. Zudem werden kaum neue Wohnungen gebaut und die Meite in bestehenden Wohnungen ohne Mietpreisdeckelung steigt. Lässt man hingegen dem Markt freie Hand, steigen die Mieten, aber dadurch steigen auch die Neubauten, weil Bauträger sehen, dass sich in dieser Stadt mehr Gewinn durch Mieten erwirtschaften lässt, als wo anders. Es wird mehr gebaut. Der Markt sättigt sich langsam und die Mieten fallen wieder. Bis der Bedarf wieder steigt. Simples Gesetz von Angebot und Nachfrage. 2. Bestehende Wohnungen werden nur mehr an Menschen vermietet, die zuverlässig ihre Miete zahlen (können). Das heißt, dass man Nachweise über Einkommen vorlegen muss. Auch bevorzugen Vermieter höher Gebildete und höher Verdienende grundsätzlich, weil diese Gesellschaftsschicht am zuverlässigsten Miete bezahlt. Und diejenige, die eigentlich von der Mietpreisbremse profitieren sollten (Mittel- und Geringverdiener) bekommen erst recht keine Wohnung. 3. Wohnungen, die durch die Mietpreisdeckelung unrentabel werden, weil die Betriebs- Renovierungs- und Erhaltungskosten die Mieteinnahmen übersteigen, werden nichtmehr vermietet. Die Vermieter wollen verständlicherweise nicht ins Minus wirtschaften. Dadurch verfallen Häuser und Wohnungen, die von Mietpreisbremsen betroffen sind. Die Stadt Wien löst dieses Problem zum Beispiel durch Strafen auf Leerstand. Warum werden also überhaupt Mietpreisdeckelungen von der Politik gefordert? Vassilakou forderte 2013 eine Miepreisdeckelung und Kern forderte sie 2018. Warum? Weil man mit dieser Polemik auf jeden Fall gutes politisches Kleingeld schlagen kann. Niemand zahlt gern Miete. Aber man sollte es als Service betrachten. Ich zahle schließlich nicht für ein Zugticket, weil ich keine Strafe zahlen will, wenn ich beim Schwarzfahren erwischt werde. Ich zahle für ein Zugticket, weil ich einen Service in Anspruch nehme. Aus dem selben Grund zahle ich auch gerne Miete, weil ich nicht auf der Straße schlafen will und dem Vermieter für seine Bereitstellung seines Wohnraumes an mich einen fairen Preis zahlen möchte. Und das bringt mich zum letzten Punkt: Sowell lässt sich in einem Satz gut zusammenfassen: The allocation of scarce resources with alternative uses. Diesen Satz liest man alle paar Seiten einmal. Er wird zum Mantra. Das erste Mal habe ich ihn noch unterstrichen, aber weil ich ihn so oft las, ging er mir in Fleisch und Blut über. Im Endeffekt geht es in der Wirtschaft um die Verteilung von begrenzten Resourcen, die auch andere Verwendungen haben. Beispiel Wohnraum. Nicht jeder kann in der Haupstadt leben! Warum? Weil es nicht genug Platz für alle gibt. In einem marktwirtschaftlichem System regelt der (fluktuierende) Preis die Verteilung. Eine Wohnung auf der Kärtnerstraße ist nunmal teurer als eine Wohnung im 10ten. Weil die Nachbarschaft anders ist, weil die Lebensqualität anders ist, weil das Angebot unterschiedlich ist. Eine Mietpreisdeckelung setzt mit einem Schlag alle Wohnungen auf das gleiche Preisniveau. Es ist nichtmehr der Einzelne, der mit seinem Geld abstimmt, sondern der Staat nimmt die Entscheidung, was eine Wohnung zu kosten hat, ab. (Hier lassen sich die sozialistischen Tendenzen der Abhanme von Verantwortung gut erkennen.) Ein zweites (kurzes) Beispiel: Ich las Marx'' Kapital (in Auszügen). Er setzt den Wert von 1 Rock und 20 Ellen Leinwand gleich. Laut ihm kann man die Gleichung auch beliebig oft umkehren, also: 1 Rock = 20 Ellen Leinwand; und 20 Ellen Leindwand = 1 Rock. Das stimmt aber mit nichten. Sowell lehrt: Dem Käufer einer Zeitung ist die Zeitung mehr wert als der eine Euro den er Zahlt. Und dem Verkäufer ist der eine Euro mehr wert als die Zeitung. Es gibt einen Moment des Profits, den Marx für gierig und ungerechtfertigt hielt (Denn warum soll ich mehr für ein Produkt zahlen, als es tatsächlich kostet?!), und Sowell für notwendig erklärt (Weil Gewinn/Profit Incentives sind um überhaupt Handel zu treiben!). Insgesamt gehört Basic Economics zu den drei besten Büchern, die ich je gelesen habe und die absolut jeder Mensch einmal pro Jahr lesen sollte! -Basic Economics; Thomas Sowell -Explaining Postmodernism; Stephen Hicks -Gulag Archipelago; Alexander Solschenytzin Negatives: Zwei negative Anmerkungen zu Basic Economics: Erstens, es ist extrem lang und es wir repetitiv (aber nicht weniger spannend), vor allem auch, weil die Mechanismen großteils die selben bleiben. Aber man könnte das Buch gut auf ein drittel zusammenkürzen und hätte trotzdem das meiste abgedeckt. Zweitens, Kapitalismus hat nicht überall seine Berechtigung. Ich würde zu Sowell ergänzen, dass Privatisierung überall positiv ist, außer in Quasi-Monopolen, wie Wasserversorgung, Stromversorgung, Universitäten, Schulen, Krankenhäusern, Straßenbau u.ä. Ich bin schon sehr froh darüber, dass ich in Österreich gratis in die Schule und die Universität gehen kann, und nicht 100.000de Euro Schulden machen muss, um mir eine tertiäre Bildung leisten zu können. Und trotzdem finde ich das Buch ein MUSS für jeden mündigen Bürger! Allein schon um die Mechanismen und die Konsequenzen des Marktes verstehen zu können.
(Zum Zeitpunkt der Rezension las ich 50% des Buches;
Negatives kommt am Ende zur Sprache)

Das Buch wurde von Thomas Sowell, der in den 1960ern als Schwarzer an Harvard studierte, und die affirmative actions aufs schärfste verurteilt, geschrieben! Alleine das ist Grund genug das Buch in die Hand zu nehmen.

Sowell erklärt sehr genau (teilweise zu genau) wie die Wirtschaft funktioniert, bzw. wie sich verschiedene Eingriffe des Staates in die Wirtkschaft auswirken. Er zeigt mit einer unglaublichen Anzahl an Beispielen aus den verschiedensten Teilen der Welt und zu unterschiedlichsten Zeiten, wie das Prinzip von Angebot und Nachfrage bis ins Detail funktionieren.
Man merkt ihm dabei an, dass er seine Theorien nicht auf Ideologien basiert, sondern auf Beobachtungen des Marktes.

Ein Beispiel: Mietpreisdeckelung. Es hat mich zutiefst erstaunt, wie Sowell mit Beispielen erklärte, dass eine staatlich verordnete Mietpreisbremse mehr negative Konsequenzen nach sich zieht, als wenn man den Markt freie Hand lässt.
Noch mehr erstaunte mich, dass alles was er über Mietpreisdeckelung in seinem Buch vorhersagt 1:1 in Wien beobachtbar ist!
Wenn ein Staat die Mieten deckelt passieren mehrere Dinge:

1. Bauträger nehmen Abstand vom Bau neuer Immobilien, da der Immobilienmarkt einen der langsamsten Umschlagraten hat, Kapital also tröpfchenweise (über mehrere Jahre und durch kleine Zahlungen (Mieten)) wieder reinbekommt. Deckelt man Mieten, dauert der Umschlag noch länger. Und Bauträger bauern entweder in anderen Gegenden (wo sie entsprechende Miete für ihre Leistung bekommen), oder sie bauen Eigentumswohnungen (wo sie das Kapital sofort wieder bekommen, und das verlangen dürfen, was die Wohnung wert ist).
Mittel- und Geringverdiener können sich Eigentumswohnungen nur schwer leisten. Zudem werden kaum neue Wohnungen gebaut und die Meite in bestehenden Wohnungen ohne Mietpreisdeckelung steigt.
Lässt man hingegen dem Markt freie Hand, steigen die Mieten, aber dadurch steigen auch die Neubauten, weil Bauträger sehen, dass sich in dieser Stadt mehr Gewinn durch Mieten erwirtschaften lässt, als wo anders. Es wird mehr gebaut. Der Markt sättigt sich langsam und die Mieten fallen wieder. Bis der Bedarf wieder steigt. Simples Gesetz von Angebot und Nachfrage.

2. Bestehende Wohnungen werden nur mehr an Menschen vermietet, die zuverlässig ihre Miete zahlen (können). Das heißt, dass man Nachweise über Einkommen vorlegen muss. Auch bevorzugen Vermieter höher Gebildete und höher Verdienende grundsätzlich, weil diese Gesellschaftsschicht am zuverlässigsten Miete bezahlt. Und diejenige, die eigentlich von der Mietpreisbremse profitieren sollten (Mittel- und Geringverdiener) bekommen erst recht keine Wohnung.

3. Wohnungen, die durch die Mietpreisdeckelung unrentabel werden, weil die Betriebs- Renovierungs- und Erhaltungskosten die Mieteinnahmen übersteigen, werden nichtmehr vermietet. Die Vermieter wollen verständlicherweise nicht ins Minus wirtschaften. Dadurch verfallen Häuser und Wohnungen, die von Mietpreisbremsen betroffen sind. Die Stadt Wien löst dieses Problem zum Beispiel durch Strafen auf Leerstand.

Warum werden also überhaupt Mietpreisdeckelungen von der Politik gefordert? Vassilakou forderte 2013 eine Miepreisdeckelung und Kern forderte sie 2018. Warum? Weil man mit dieser Polemik auf jeden Fall gutes politisches Kleingeld schlagen kann. Niemand zahlt gern Miete. Aber man sollte es als Service betrachten. Ich zahle schließlich nicht für ein Zugticket, weil ich keine Strafe zahlen will, wenn ich beim Schwarzfahren erwischt werde. Ich zahle für ein Zugticket, weil ich einen Service in Anspruch nehme. Aus dem selben Grund zahle ich auch gerne Miete, weil ich nicht auf der Straße schlafen will und dem Vermieter für seine Bereitstellung seines Wohnraumes an mich einen fairen Preis zahlen möchte.
Und das bringt mich zum letzten Punkt:

Sowell lässt sich in einem Satz gut zusammenfassen: The allocation of scarce resources with alternative uses.
Diesen Satz liest man alle paar Seiten einmal. Er wird zum Mantra. Das erste Mal habe ich ihn noch unterstrichen, aber weil ich ihn so oft las, ging er mir in Fleisch und Blut über.
Im Endeffekt geht es in der Wirtschaft um die Verteilung von begrenzten Resourcen, die auch andere Verwendungen haben.
Beispiel Wohnraum. Nicht jeder kann in der Haupstadt leben! Warum? Weil es nicht genug Platz für alle gibt. In einem marktwirtschaftlichem System regelt der (fluktuierende) Preis die Verteilung. Eine Wohnung auf der Kärtnerstraße ist nunmal teurer als eine Wohnung im 10ten. Weil die Nachbarschaft anders ist, weil die Lebensqualität anders ist, weil das Angebot unterschiedlich ist.
Eine Mietpreisdeckelung setzt mit einem Schlag alle Wohnungen auf das gleiche Preisniveau. Es ist nichtmehr der Einzelne, der mit seinem Geld abstimmt, sondern der Staat nimmt die Entscheidung, was eine Wohnung zu kosten hat, ab. (Hier lassen sich die sozialistischen Tendenzen der Abhanme von Verantwortung gut erkennen.)

Ein zweites (kurzes) Beispiel:
Ich las Marx'' Kapital (in Auszügen). Er setzt den Wert von 1 Rock und 20 Ellen Leinwand gleich. Laut ihm kann man die Gleichung auch beliebig oft umkehren, also: 1 Rock = 20 Ellen Leinwand; und 20 Ellen Leindwand = 1 Rock.
Das stimmt aber mit nichten.
Sowell lehrt: Dem Käufer einer Zeitung ist die Zeitung mehr wert als der eine Euro den er Zahlt. Und dem Verkäufer ist der eine Euro mehr wert als die Zeitung.
Es gibt einen Moment des Profits, den Marx für gierig und ungerechtfertigt hielt (Denn warum soll ich mehr für ein Produkt zahlen, als es tatsächlich kostet?!), und Sowell für notwendig erklärt (Weil Gewinn/Profit Incentives sind um überhaupt Handel zu treiben!).

Insgesamt gehört Basic Economics zu den drei besten Büchern, die ich je gelesen habe und die absolut jeder Mensch einmal pro Jahr lesen sollte!
-Basic Economics; Thomas Sowell
-Explaining Postmodernism; Stephen Hicks
-Gulag Archipelago; Alexander Solschenytzin

Negatives:
Zwei negative Anmerkungen zu Basic Economics:
Erstens, es ist extrem lang und es wir repetitiv (aber nicht weniger spannend), vor allem auch, weil die Mechanismen großteils die selben bleiben. Aber man könnte das Buch gut auf ein drittel zusammenkürzen und hätte trotzdem das meiste abgedeckt.

Zweitens, Kapitalismus hat nicht überall seine Berechtigung. Ich würde zu Sowell ergänzen, dass Privatisierung überall positiv ist, außer in Quasi-Monopolen, wie Wasserversorgung, Stromversorgung, Universitäten, Schulen, Krankenhäusern, Straßenbau u.ä.
Ich bin schon sehr froh darüber, dass ich in Österreich gratis in die Schule und die Universität gehen kann, und nicht 100.000de Euro Schulden machen muss, um mir eine tertiäre Bildung leisten zu können.

Und trotzdem finde ich das Buch ein MUSS für jeden mündigen Bürger! Allein schon um die Mechanismen und die Konsequenzen des Marktes verstehen zu können.
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Miss Jk Atwal
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 4, 2017
This needs to be given to every 18 year old, the future of our economic prosperity depends on it.
This needs to be given to every 18 year old, the future of our economic prosperity depends on it.
54 people found this helpful
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Adam
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is the best book that you can read in your entire life.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 13, 2020
This is the best book that you can read in your entire life. It is depressing that some people cannot jump over their bias when it comes to writing the review. Professor Thomas Sowell writes about economics in clear language and bases his claims on facts. He provides...See more
This is the best book that you can read in your entire life. It is depressing that some people cannot jump over their bias when it comes to writing the review. Professor Thomas Sowell writes about economics in clear language and bases his claims on facts. He provides observations made by Karl Marx and Milton Friedman. He persuades that the society needs to start think things and find the distinction between what sounds good and what works. This book is the best gift for any concern citizen from the left or right. You cannot go wrong with Professor Sowell. The book is printed on high quality paper, fonts are easily readable and cover is very solid. Looks distinguished. I highly recommend to purchase a hard cover as this book is fantastic for reference and will require re-reading after some time.
This is the best book that you can read in your entire life. It is depressing that some people cannot jump over their bias when it comes to writing the review.

Professor Thomas Sowell writes about economics in clear language and bases his claims on facts. He provides observations made by Karl Marx and Milton Friedman. He persuades that the society needs to start think things and find the distinction between what sounds good and what works. This book is the best gift for any concern citizen from the left or right. You cannot go wrong with Professor Sowell.

The book is printed on high quality paper, fonts are easily readable and cover is very solid. Looks distinguished. I highly recommend to purchase a hard cover as this book is fantastic for reference and will require re-reading after some time.
16 people found this helpful
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Lawrence Timme
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
My first economics book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 29, 2018
This was my first book on economics and i have to say it does what is says on the cover. It is in plain English with not much technical language so it is easy to understand. it also builds everything up in a sensible order.
This was my first book on economics and i have to say it does what is says on the cover. It is in plain English with not much technical language so it is easy to understand. it also builds everything up in a sensible order.
33 people found this helpful
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Pete
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Subversive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2016
This is an utterly fantastic read. Should be required reading in schools, although doubtful. Is probably deemed subversive and dangerous by left leaning institutions, like a modern day version of the bible being written in English and not Latin. Thomas Sowell is a hero of...See more
This is an utterly fantastic read. Should be required reading in schools, although doubtful. Is probably deemed subversive and dangerous by left leaning institutions, like a modern day version of the bible being written in English and not Latin. Thomas Sowell is a hero of mine.
This is an utterly fantastic read. Should be required reading in schools, although doubtful. Is probably deemed subversive and dangerous by left leaning institutions, like a modern day version of the bible being written in English and not Latin.

Thomas Sowell is a hero of mine.
68 people found this helpful
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