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This is an excellent introduction and overview of economics.
I respectfully but adamantly disagree with the other reviewer (Joe in Seattle): this is a very mainstream overview of economics. Navarro might be more of a saltwater (e.g., Harvard) than freshwater (e.g., Chicago) economist, but both of these schools are quite mainstream. Hayek, on the otherhand, is an Austrian economist (even though he was at Chicago, he's not considered part of the freshwater school...), and Austrians are on of the main heterodox schools. (Currently, there are reasonable articles at Wikipedia on "Saltwater and freshwater economics"--which describes the left and right wings of the mainstream--and on "Heterodox economics.")
8 of 10 people found this review helpful
While not a raving socialist, the professor focuses a lot on how the government can step in and save the world. We see how that's going now, and I think he favors more of the same.
This book seems to be a moderate but firm justification for the core concepts of socialism. He focuses a lot on market failures and the idea that perfect competition is the exception rather than the rule.
He mentions government failures, but spends far to little time talking about incentives and their effect on productive performance. This gives the impression that he is a socialist appologist, trying to convince the world that the government is a great tool to guide businesses toward economic efficiency.
Disregarded is the two thousand years of history that compels any reasonable reader to admit that the government, overall, has done more harm than good when it attempts to intervene in markets.
He seems to make the case that only a minority of businesses should be left on their own, while all the others are valid targets for government intervention. Some of his points are valid. However, in practice, the political incentives that typically guide interventionist policies generally do not resemble the types of responsible and effective intervention that he talks about.
As for the Harvard economists, I'm just about done listening to any professor from that school. This isn't to say that they're all quacks, but Chicago seems to produce much more scholarly work on the subject of economics.
Read some Smith, Hayak, Sowell and Friedman. If you want hard evidence to support this authors version of economic dogma, then this book neither succeeds or attempts to provide proof of its assertions. Look elsewhere. If you lean towards the heterodox, go straight to Marx and skip this luke warm intermediary.
Still, there is a lot of good information if you already know enough to know which of his assertions are misleading... but if you already know that... why read? Cheers.
32 of 57 people found this review helpful