Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One / Edition 2

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This revised edition of Applied Economics is about fifty percent larger than the first edition. It now includes a chapter on the economics of immigration and new sections of other chapters on such topics as the “creative” financing of home-buying that led to the current “subprime” mortgage crisis, the economics of organ transplants, and the political and economic incentives that lead to money earmarked for highways being diverted to mass transit and to a general neglect of infrastructure. On these and other topics, its examples are drawn from around the world. Much material in the first edition has been updated and supplemented. The revised and enlarged edition of Applied Economics retains the easy readability of the first edition, even for people with no prior knowledge of economics.

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Editorial Reviews

Ideas On Liberty
Thomas Sowell is one of the fine scholars of our time.
If there is a single recent book that can advance economic literacy in this country, it is Thomas Sowell's latest book, Basic Economics.... Sowell has managed to make economics humane again, relevant and interesting to young people and ordinary citizens.... Buy a copy and read it immediately—no: buy two, and give one to a school teacher, a journalist, or a politician near you!
Publishers Weekly
While politicians squabble over the pros and cons of price controls on prescription drugs, onlooking citizens are often left scratching their heads. Many of today's economic issues are obscured by their inherent complexity and the blarney coming from political talking heads. In his follow-up to Basic Economics, Sowell, a leading conservative spokesman and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, seeks to alleviate this confusion. He highlights the major differences between politicians (who act for the short term, i.e., reelection) and economists (who look at the long-range ramifications of policy), and urges voters to keep these differences in mind. Sowell then focuses on a few issues, including some political hot potatoes: medical care, housing, discrimination, insurance and the development of nations. He urges readers to consider not only the intended, immediate goal of a particular policy, but also its unintended, long-range impact. For instance, he says, supporters of nationalized health care overlook the fact that it often results in health-care shortages, reduced quality of services and black markets. The great achievement of Sowell's book is its simplicity. His writing is easy and lucid, an admirable trait considering the topic at hand. This book will not satisfy hard-core economic junkies, and Sowell does not pretend it will. His target audience is the average citizen who has little or no economics background, but would like the tools to think critically about economic issues. Some readers will be turned off by Sowell's preference for free-market principles, but the author is an esteemed economist and his explanations fit well within the mainstream. As a basic primer for the economically perplexed, this volume serves very well. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This new book is a spirited and controversial examination of how economic choices in public policy often result in unforeseen consequences. Sowell, a professor of public policy at Stanford and author of Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy, examines labor, medical care, housing, and other areas of economic activity. He says that in stage-one thinking, making housing affordable by setting rent controls would seem to be self-evident but that such rent controls both reduce the stock of low-rent housing and cause that stock to deteriorate in condition. He explains that many landlords don't bother to offer properties when rents are low and that those who do find very little incentive to maintain them. On the institution of slavery in the American South, Sowell says slaves were usually better cared for than other laborers because of the slave owners' economic self-interest. He defends the existence of slums as low-cost housing that in the past allowed the residents who chose to live in them to use their funds for other purposes. His predictably laissez faire approach to economics will grate on many readers, but his reasoning is clear and thoughtful. Every library covering economics or public administration will require a copy.-Lawrence R. Maxted, Gannon Univ., Erie, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465003457
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 12/8/2008
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 446,837
  • Product dimensions: 9.54 (w) x 6.36 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet 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 in both academic journals in such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine and Fortune, and writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.

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Table of Contents

1 Polities versus Economies 1

2 Free and Unfree Labor 20

3 The Economics of Medical Care 53

4 The Economics of Housing 95

5 Risky Business 133

6 The Economics of Immigration 171

7 The Economies of Discrimination 207

8 The Economic Development of Nations 238

Sources 275

Index 319

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Most Relevant Book of Our Time!

    This book is undoubtedly the most practical and relevant book relating to how our politicians can destroy our country without us even realizing it! The negative impacts of NOT thinking beyond stage one are clearly laid out in a very readable way. I would recommend this book as REQUIRED reading by EVERY AMERICAN beyond freshman in high school!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great education about basic economic issues

    Many political considerations have the underlying economic dimensions. In fact, probably every political decision has major economic ramifications. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to discern all of those ramifications and the consequences of those decisions that come up further down the road sometimes take time to manifest themselves. This book provides the reader with some basic tools of analysis in order to fully appreciate some of the major political issues of today. The main focus is on the US politics, but the issues discussed have cropped up under different guises around the world and the book could certainly be read by international audience.

    Thomas Sowell is one of the most respected political columnists of today, and his popularity and influence are in large measure due to the fact that he is exceptionally skillful at writing at the level that can be readily appreciated by the general readership. He's particularly adroit at breaking down complex issues and presenting them in terms of their most salient components. It is exactly this style that he brings to this book. The book is not a highbrow academic treatise, nor even a real textbook. Its aim is to promote economic literacy on the part of general public, and in that respect it does an admirable job. The title of the book suggests that this is a sequel to Sowell's "Basic Economics," but this is a largely self-contained work and can be read independently of the earlier book. In fact, each one of the chapters can be read in its own right. The only thing that links them in a single volume is the general theme of considering economic consequences "beyond stage on," i.e. beyond the immediate impact that various political decisions have.

    This is one of those books that everyone should read. If everyone did, it is very likely that we wouldn't be straddled with the consequences of unfortunate political decisions for decades at a time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

    Should be required reading

    These days when so much blather is being spewed relating to economics, it is refreshing to find someone who has his feet on the ground. Sowell distinuishes politics from economics (most contemporary writing does not) and takes up such issues as medical care, housing, immigration, and Third World development. The book is likely to get little discussion in the press, as virtually everything Sowell points out about the way the world works will offend their liberal beliefs.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Sowell's ability to explain economics in a practical, how it really works, sense makes this a must read book.

    Sowell's grasp of the market infuences and patteerns and his ability to explain what happens when politics and economics mix make this book a must read. It should be required reading for all high school students.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2009

    Highly Relevant and Informative!

    This is probably the most relevant book of our times! Thomas Sowell outlines how our failure to think past stage one can cause a dalayed economic impact that could be devastating to our country and its population. Every American above the age of 12 should read this book and understand that we CAN prevent our politicians from destroying our economy and way of life! WE MUST THINK PAST STAGE ONE!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    And bang, it's over

    I thoroughly enjoyed the red, right up to the final paragraph. But i was surprised thre was no ending. I turned the page expecting another topic but I was at the notes. No conclusion, no take away. Not at all what expected after such lucid exposition.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 28, 2011

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