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There are some interesting ideas in this book that do make you look at the world in a different way, his ideas seem to be so theoretical that they would be hard to apply to the real world in any relevant way.
I've recently bought a lot of pop economics texts, and this is by far the worst. The book is the most Panglossian text I ever read. The author seems to have no idea of life, and will make such statements as a public resource with a 45 minute queue to enter is valueless to the community. I don't know anybody naive enough to believe this, and don't care to read the written opinion of someone who can seriously type this nonsense out. Freakonomics and Tim Harford's work are enjoyable, but this is a waste of time
This book laughs in the face of modern economics. It pretends as if humans are machines and behavioral economics does not exist. This author talks only for the sake of themselves feeling impressive and somehow smarter than others. Unfortunately, they are stuck in the stone age and refuse to admit that humans act as nothing more than drones. They give economists a bad name
Steven Landsburg is a renowned economist, and this book makes it clear why, as he clearly, cleanly, and ably explains some fairly in-depth economic theories and principles without condescension. There are plenty of summaries and overviews of the material available; this review is just to state that I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in what "economics" is and how it affects all of our lives.
It is a book that should be read to complement and with caution, not to be taken as a text book. There are very good essays, as very bad ones. The book distils an over-the-top market fundamentalism. At the same time it ignores the most correct theories about markets. When the author discusses inflation and interest rates it does not mention Mises (Austrian School) at all. The simplifications make a caricature of economic theory, which may indoctrinate the reader. It ignores the role of the policy maker, the role of government and society in building solid institutions that ensure proper market operation. It mockers and treats with utter disdain features such as the right of literacy and school initiatives to teach about the relevance of environment preservation. It is a good book if the reader is already relatively informed, because it is important to get to know other opinions and find common ground. But for a first contact with economics it could be damaging. The way the writer makes his point on species extinction is repulsive. The book attempts to make economics simples, but it makes it short sighted to say the least. Market fundamentalism is a fanatical religion that resist facts such as the entrepreneurial participation of the United States government seeding technologies like the internet, airspace; it overlooks South Korea development, and China's. Should the U.S. government slashes tuition financing, all those market fundamentalists would be forced to live closer to reality and write something about it. If really free markets come into existence one day, they would close economics departments across the country, laying off free market fundamentalists. Now that would be "efficiency".