Book Reports / Book Report For Todd Buchholz’S “New Ideas From Dead Economists

Book Report For Todd Buchholz’S “New Ideas From Dead Economists

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Autor:  anton  14 December 2010
Tags:  Report,  Buchholzs
Words: 671   |   Pages: 3
Views: 850

Book report for Todd Buchholz’s “New Ideas from Dead Economists

This was a great read! Not only was it very informing on past and present economic thought, but it made economic issues seem exiting, ironic, and understandable. He connects economic principles with past and modern events like the fall of communism, global warming, overpopulation, and politics. Issues I didn’t even know existed were brought to life for me with his stories. I particularly enjoyed his chapter on the “doom and gloomers” and the frightening theory that population could increase by such a rate that there will be overcrowding, shortage of food supply and unbearable pollution. Some of these theories depict our population driven to cannibalistic instincts. Yet Todd Buchholz concludes that “despite minor flaws in character, and a bit less elbow room, we have survived--uneaten and in pretty good shape.” I understood in greater detail the nature of human beings when faced with this type of dreadful possibility. I gained a lot from his critiques on Adam Smith’s teachings of the invisible hand and how it would supposedly solve the problems of Doom, overpopulation, and economic depression. From these ideas, and how economics drives these matters I learned that in his own words “economics is about more than the analysis of choices about wealth and investments” it affects the political actions around us and the very way we live our lives. He writes “we can look to economists to tell us where our standard of living has been and where it may be going” I love the description of economics as described by the author in his first chapter. He states that “Economics is the study of choice. It does not tell us what to choose. It only helps us understand the consequence of our choices”. As explained in the book, the choices I make every day, when I’m deciding how far to drive because of gas prices, or when I’m deciding to continue my education, are all economic ones. They may seem like mundane choices to me when I get up in the morning but now I see that they are subconscious choices made as my brain analyzes the economics around me. I absolutely love how the author includes plenty of personal descriptions about the lives of the great economists we read about. Karl Marx, David Ricardo, Marshall and Maynard Keynes for instance, were very real people. Some were considered unkempt sobs, others so ugly they were called snout by friends, other considered irrational and crazy even by themselves, and others some of the first economists to get rich by understanding and trading stocks. The personality Buchholz brings to the great economic thinkers is fun and very helpful in gaining appreciation as he has for these men. Their ideas and economic philosophy’s apply more than one would think in this modern world. And this is the main aspect Buchholz brings to his book; connecting past economic science (and he calls it the science of reason and choices) to issues we face today. When doing so we see these men were spot on in many of their predictions. The author brings up these points simply to show that many of these economic masters do not receive much of the credit they deserve. And by studying the basics of their theory’s we can not only see further into the future but “learn the doctrines they have been trying to teach us from the beginning.” New Ideas from Dead Economists was very descriptive about the ideas of these men and how they apply to us today. As the author states himself “The world is materially easier but psychologically more difficult to live in today than two hundred years ago.” It seems fair to say after reading this book that it was economists that predicted this would be the case, and economists that will help society live in the twentieth century.



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