Book Review: Basic Economics

Basic Economics, Fourth Edition: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy | [Thomas Sowell]At no point during my public school education did I ever receive any lessons on economics or finance. This is truly a travesty, as after listening to this book I now understand how crucial economics is to the world we live in. Economics drives everything about our lives. The products we buy, which products we can by, how we earn the wages to buy those products, what interest rates we pay and how those are set, and more.

I did take an economics course in college, but frankly don’t remember much of it. To say the first quarter was dull and bland would be a gross understatement. The second quarter was much more interesting, but it was taught by a stock broker and focused on the market, which as I now understand is a different subject from economics.

It was fascinating to learn how much the concept of supply and demand drives everything in our world. I had a vague idea of how it applied to goods, but Dr. Thomas Sowell taught the reader how it drives everything, not just goods but wages, interest rates, and more. Supply and demand, when left alone, will work themselves out to an equal level when the economy is left alone, i.e. a free market. I also learned from Dr. Sowell the consequences when the economy is not left alone, and government interferes. He further illustrates the effects of compounded interference. Government steps in to fix one thing, which causes a consequence. So they step in to fix that, and cause more repercussions.

I’m a big fan of audio books, and found the reader of the Audible edition, Tom Weiner, to have an excellent voice well suited to this material. His voice had the authoritative tone of a college professor. His voice was far from the monotone you find in many instructors, it rose and fell appropriately to keep me engaged and attentive.

We home school our kids, and I intend to make this book part of their curriculum this fall. Having a good understanding of how economics affects our lives will put them in good stead in the future, and this book is a five star way to do it.

Links: Basic Economics on Amazon | Basic Economics on Audible | Dr. Thomas Sowell’s Wikipedia page

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Basic Economics

  1. I vaguely recognize the name “Thomas Sowell”, from what seems very long ago. And “Yes”, a free market economy works wonderfully. Throwing goverment in the mix is like dumping concrete into a swimming pool already filled with pristine cool water and kids in the middle of the summer. The concrete is good around the perimeter and bottom as the foundation, but should keep it’s distance from further involvment once filled with water and kids.

  2. I was home schooled and left high school with a decent understanding of both personal finance and basic economics. In college as a business major, I was required to take two semesters of Economics (Macro and MIcro), plus a Personal Finance class. Now as an MBA the “weeder class” was a killer Financial Management class with a heavy emphasis on a firm understanding of quantifying risk, calculating value, the cost of capital, etc. I’m not suggesting that all of these should be taught in public schools, but I think a basic Personal Finance class should be a requirement to graduate. Not all parents were as dedicated to equipping their child for the world as mine were…

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