How an Economy Grows & Why it Crashes – makes use of a simple narrative to illustrate the history of American economics. I read this book from Jan 4th – January 7th 2012. The book is based around three guys on an island who catch fish with their bare hands. Simple and easy to understand illustrations are on each page with a “Takeaway” section at the end of each chapter. The content is easy to follow and this book reinforces how government, central planners, inflation, and politicians all screw with basic free markets to the detriment of all.
Two suggestions for improvement – First – The oversight of the abuses of capitalism are not touched upon, especially during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The book assumes that all economic decisions made by individuals are the most efficient. Second, perhaps a list of the characters like a content page – he does mention in the intro but one listed out would be nice. I could pick out who most of the fish characters were however I could not figure out who Chuck DeBongo, Tad Anemone, & Hughey Humpback were.
Things I like –
- Great use of fish terms for people and for nations. Here are a few – Ally Greenfin – Alan Greenspan, Barry Ocuda – Barack Obama, Slippery Dickson – Richard Nixon, Buddy Goldfish – Barry Goldwater.
- Two main theme throughout entire book are saving money = wealth or capital, and production is better than consumption.
- pg 60 – deflation is good for the economy because prices will fall and then consumption will resume. I was lied to because I was told that inflation is good and deflation is bad.
- pg 75 – savers are not represented in government. All that is represented are spenders and consumers.
- pg 89 – private is better for public works – (I was not fully convinced because I think private industry can gouge)
- pg 98 – The enlightenment influenced the Constitution. “The result was a nation where individuals could be secure in their personal liberty and possessions.” I love the Founding Fathers – the Constitution is great.
- pg 207/218 – A day of recogning is coming for America – A more huge bubble will be the Treasury bills – it is all a house of cards.
I take away from this book that we as a nation have been sold out by politicians with easy money, cheap housing, pushing our debt on our grandchildren, inflation will deteriorate the savings of prudent, and a renewed sense that economics is really simple to understand.
Thanks Peter Schiff…