I had extremely high expectations before I began reading this book. This is the third book of his I’ve read, along with a great many articles. Basic Economics greatly surpassed my lofty expectations. It is both extremely informative and highly entertaining. Each and every page is full of knowledge demonstrating how free market capitalism is far superior to any other economic philosophy.
Thomas Sowell is so much more to me than just a favorite author. Through all of his works that I’ve read he became a mentor and favorite professor. He is one of the authors most responsible for my transformation from a left-winger who believed in Socialism into a libertarian who is very much a free market warrior. When I’m looking for quotes for articles he is one of the individuals I turn to first.
This book is very fair and balanced. It presents all sides. Through numerous examples from across the globe and very much insightful explanation Sowell proves with out a doubt that free market capitalism is far superior to all other forms of economics. This is so because all other forms involve government intervention and any government intervention leads to disastrous results.
Economics is one of my favorite topics of study. I’ve consumed a great many books on the subject including Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman, Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, several books by Ludwig von Mises, and two books by F. A. Hayek. I still found plenty of new information in Basic Economics. All of the information I already knew was presented in such a manner that I was never bored and very frequently entertained.
This great work should be read by everyone elected into office in the United States, especially those elected to serve in the United States Senate and House of Representatives. All those running for president in 2020 should read it. Sadly that will not happen even though it is very much needed by those running on the Democratic side. Basic Economics should most definitely be required reading on all college campuses instead of the numerous books praising socialism that make up so much of today’s curriculum.
Here are some quotes, just as a small sample to demonstrate how great this particular book really is. Every page is full of similar quotes.
From chapter 1:
Economics is not simply a topic on which to express opinions or vent emotions. It is a systematic study of what happens when you do specific things in specific ways. In economic analysis, the methods used by a Marxist economist like Oskar Lange did not differ in any fundamental way from the methods used by a conservative economist like Milton Friedman. It is these basic economic principles that this book is about.
From chapter 2:
There is perhaps no more basic or more obvious principle of economics than the fact that people tend to buy more at a lower price and less at a higher price. By the same token, people who produce goods or supply services tend to supply more at a higher price and less at a lower price. Yet the implications of these two simple principles, singly or in combination, cover a remarkable range of economic activities and issues— and contradict an equally remarkable range of misconceptions and fallacies.
From chapter 3:
Simple as basic economic principles may be, their ramifications can be quite complex, as we have seen with the various effects of rent control laws and agricultural price support laws. However, even this basic level of economics is seldom understood by the public, which often demands political “solutions” that turn out to make matters worse. Nor is this a new phenomenon of modern times in democratic countries.
And finally from chapter 4. (There are 27 chapters in the book)
Just as a poetic discussion of the weather is not meteorology, so an issuance of moral pronouncements or political creeds about the economy is not economics. Economics is a study of cause-and-effect relationships in an economy. Its purpose is to discern the consequences of various ways of allocating scarce resources which have alternative uses. It has nothing to say about social philosophy or moral values, any more than it has anything to say about humor or anger.
***The quotes are copied from the Basic Economics Wikiquotes page because I’m a poor typist. There are many more quotes from the book on that page.