Economics Explained

Economics Explained

Economics Explained

Economics Explained

Excerpt

Books on economics abound. Most of them have two purposes. They tell you how to make a great deal of money--in the stock market, in real estate, in gold; or they tout some kind of economic salvation--less government or more government, less regulation or more regulation, less capitalism, more capitalism.

There is one overwhelming problem with both kinds of books. They don't work. The books about money do not make you money--if they did, the United States would be crawling with millionaires. And the books about economic salvation do not set your mind at ease. They just make you feel better for a moment.

Then why do people go on buying these books? At bottom, we believe it is because they are in search of something more serious than instant riches or saving the world. They want to understand the nature of the economic forces that are upsetting their lives. They want to know the meaning of the incomprehensible vocabulary they read every morning in the newspapers and hear every night on TV--the "money supply" and "gross national product' and "government deficits" that are somehow connected with their personal and public woes and misfortunes. Is it not the truth that we simply do not understand the very words that are supposed to tell us what is the matter?

That explains the purpose of this book. To say it as directly as possible, we have written a book based on our conviction that a great many people seriously want to know what economics is all about. Thereafter, if they still want advice on getting rich, or a tract for our times, fine. At least they will then understand the words the author is using.

Our belief in an audience that wants to learn about economics comes from personal experience. We are the authors of a college text that has gone through many editions. But increasingly it has dawned on us that the people who are most eager to understand economics are not students who want to pass a course, but men and women in the real world who need to make their way intelligently . . .

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