Economism

  • by James Kwak, Simon Johnson - foreword
  • Narrated by Mark Bramhall
  • 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is a bracing deconstruction of the framework for understanding the world that is learned as gospel in Economics 101, regardless of its imaginary assumptions and misleading half truths.
Economism: an ideology that distorts the valid principles and tools of introductory college economics, propagated by self-styled experts, zealous lobbyists, clueless politicians, and ignorant pundits.
In order to illuminate the fallacies of economism, James Kwak first offers a primer on supply and demand, market equilibrium, and social welfare: the underpinnings of most popular economic arguments. Then he provides a historical account of how economism became a prevalent mode of thought in the United States - focusing on the people who packaged Econ 101 into sound bites that were then repeated until they took on the aura of truth. He shows us how issues of moment in contemporary American society - labor markets, taxes, finance, health care, and international trade, among others - are shaped by economism, demonstrating in each case with clarity and élan how, because of its failure to reflect the complexities of our world, economism has had a deleterious influence on policies that affect hundreds of millions of Americans.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

With no graphs, the audio version is useless.

What disappointed you about Economism?

In the printed book there are many supply vs demand curves. Understanding these is essential to understanding the book. These graphs are not provided in this audio version, so a listener will only get a fraction of what this book has to offer.


Has Economism turned you off from other books in this genre?

No. In fact I'd still like to read it and may still buy the print version.


Any additional comments?

Before Audible.com posts an audiobook that heavily relies on figures in the printed version of the book, I think Audible.com should either: 1) provide a pdf of the figures; 2) short of that, a notice of this shortcoming should be given to the buyer.

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- Thomas

An excellent counterpoint to Economics 101 without vilifying academia

I dropped a credit on this book after seeing James Kwak on Bloomberg, discussing the ACA. I was looking for an explanation for why our incoming administration is touting the policies that they are, and found it. Kwak does an excellent job providing the historical precedence for economism, beyond the 101ism that has taken over our society as a whole.

His explanations of those 101 concepts are succinct and understandable, though the vocabulary is a bit hard to keep track of in an audio format. He doesn't work to completely debunk them, as I expected: he provides counterpoint examples and continually stresses the self-fulfilling prophecy that our economic feedback loop has become.

This may be exasperating for those who are looking for a concrete way to take these issues into our own hands - they ought to listen through to the final chapter, where he summarizes his main points and stresses the importance of calling out economism as what it is: an ideology that justifies the way things are for the benefit of an increasingly wealthier upper class, and the detriment of the poor working class.

Mark Bramhall does an excellent job narrating - his pauses and emphasis give the book a flow that makes it digestible despite its occasionally technical bent.
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- Onnolee

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-10-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio