Filthy Lucre

Filthy Lucre

Economics for People Who Hate Capitalism

eBook - 2009
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Economists have a bad reputation. Not only do they assume that everyone is self-interested and amoral, they are almost always cheerleaders for the free market. As a result, most people who do not already share their beliefs ignore everything that economists have to say. This is a problem. Even among the highly educated, economics is a minefield of fallacies and errors. Among those who know little about the subject—a group that includes the average taxpayer and consumer, as well as most journalists, political activists and politicians—almost every widely held belief is false. The level of economic illiteracy is stunning.

Filthy Lucre aims to level the playing field and, in this time of enormous market volatility and unprecedented instability, raise our level of economic literacy. Drawing on everyday examples to skewer the six favourite economic fallacies of the right and then the left, we learn why the right wing so wrongly believes that capitalism is the natural order of things, that any tax cut is a good tax cut, and that personal responsibility can solve any problem. And, contrary to how the left feels, why we must resist the urge to fiddle with prices, why the pursuit of profit is not such a bad thing, and why, despite efforts to improve or even fix wages, some jobs will always suck.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, ©2009
ISBN: 9781554687695
Characteristics: 1 online resource (338 pages)


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May 15, 2010

This is not only a great book to read for someone wanting to learn a little bit about the basics of economic theory, but a trenchant critique of modern-day policymaking and the fallacies riddling our political debate.

Heath devotes the two halves of the book to the most commonly-heard economic arguments on the right and left, and picks them apart to equal devastating effect. Being sympathetic to the left, his basic goal is to deepen the policy-making debate by showing why economists' arguments aren't all they're made out to be, and why the arguments advanced on the left are often completely off-target.

Lucidly-written and funny throughout, Joseph Heath shows why we need people like him to study critical thinking and philosophy in university. Read this book.

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