Synopses & Reviews
In Economic Facts and Fallacies
, Thomas Sowell exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues in a lively manner that does not require any prior knowledge of economics. These fallacies include many beliefs widely disseminated in the media and by politicians, such as fallacies about urban problems, income differences, male-female economic differences, as well as economic fallacies about academia, about race, and about Third World countries.
Sowell shows that fallacies are not simply crazy ideas but in fact have a certain plausibility that gives them their staying power--and makes careful examination of their flaws both necessary and important.
"The heart of the matter for Thomas Sowell (Basic Economics) is to ask, 'What are the facts?' In his latest book, economist Sowell examines numerous misconceptions about life and economics. Sowell writes like an exacting scholar, but his arguments, which rely on economic analyses primarily, may suffer from oversimplification. Sowell argues that zoning restrictions and rent-control policies hurt those whom they're meant to help; intones that women earn less than men because they are far less likely than men to choose occupations that require very long hours; believes tenure helps neither students nor professors; demonstrates that even the poor have successfully moved up economically; tackles fallacies about race in America; and aims to convince that 'there is nothing baffling or morally wrong about the fact that different nations have different per capita incomes.' He falters in his chapter on the academy, when he becomes an advocate rather than an observer, and oddly neglects the individual choice available to students. Sowell's purpose is to teach readers to 'examine [their] beliefs more closely and more analytically,' and the conclusions he draws are certain to inspire rigorous debate. This readable volume is a useful primer exposing how economics relates to the social issues that affect our country." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From one of Americas most distinguished economists, a short, brilliant, and revelatory book: the fundamental ideas people most commonly get wrong about economics, and how to think about the subject better
About the Author
Thomas Sowell has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has published both in academic journals and in such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Fortune, and writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.