Best Book on the Market: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Economy


Are you ready for the truth about markets?

These pages will change the way you think about the world...

Markets are everywhere. But how many of us understand how they work, and why? What does a free market' really mean? Do free markets exist - and should we have more or less of them? most of all - why should any of this matter to me?

Using crisp, non-technical language and ...

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The Best Book on the Market: How to stop worrying and love the free economy

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Are you ready for the truth about markets?

These pages will change the way you think about the world...

Markets are everywhere. But how many of us understand how they work, and why? What does a free market' really mean? Do free markets exist - and should we have more or less of them? most of all - why should any of this matter to me?

Using crisp, non-technical language and examples from our everyday lives, Eamonn Butler explains how the markets we have, and the many more we need, can work to create a richer, freer and more peaceful world.

Discover how the freedom to choose benefits us all.

If you've ever wondered why governments' attempts to fix the market usually end up making things worse, what makes black markets tick or how your economics textbook got it all wrong,  you need The Best Book on the Market.

"Dr Butler's book is a welcome and very readable contribution on the mechanisms and morality of the free economy." - Sir John Major KG CH, former UK Prime Minister

"Anything which educates the public - and politicians - on how the free economy actually works is always welcome. Dr Butler does this in style." - Lord Lawson, former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…Chancellor Geoffrey Howe…has endorsed a new tome by Adam Smith Institute boss Eamonn Butler on the power of free markets." (The Evening Standard, Monday 31st March 2008)

"...well written...full of rather good anecdotes about markets" (Dr Grumble Blog, September 26, 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781906465056
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/13/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

If anyone can explain how markets work, it's Dr Eamonn Butler. As director of the Influential UK think-tank, the Adam Smith Institute, he has spent three decades privatizing state industries, reforming public administrations and instructing government leaders around the world on market economics. He is the doyen of Britain's free-market policy analysts, and led the initiative to build a world monument to the pioneering Scottish economist, Adam Smith, in Edinburgh.

With degrees in Economics, Psychology and Philosophy from St Andrews University, Dr Butler is superbly qualified on the mechanics, mentality and morals of markets. He is a board member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the distinguished international association of free-market economists and activist founded in 1947. He has won the Freedoms Foundation  deal and is advisor to a number of international economic-policy bodies.

Dr Butler's highly readable introductions to free-market thinkers including Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, and Nobel economists F A Hayek and Milton Friedman have won wide acclaim and been translated into many languages. He is also the author of several books on IQ testing (with Dr Madsen Pirie) and of Forty Centuries of Wage and Price Controls (with Robert L Schuettinger).

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Table of Contents


1. The amazing world of markets.

A trip to the market.

No words, but mutual benefit.

Markets are everywhere.

Nobody’s perfect.

Time, place and trust.

Who? What? Where? Why?.

Unorganized order.

Markets are a force for good.

Getting resources to their best use.

2. How specialization and exchange make us rich.

Markets weren’t born yesterday.

Money makes the world go round oblong.

Exchange is Natural.

Why we exchange so much.

Collaboration through - disagreement.

Specialization and efficiency.

The huge productive power of specialization.

Specialization makes you slicker.

Capital accumulation.

The spiralling success of specialization.

3. The instant messaging system of price.

Price is an instruction as well as a fact.

Buyers, sellers and market prices.

X marks the (perfect) spot.

Now the bad news.

The impossibility of perfect information.

The market is a discovery process.

Help me, information.

The instant messaging of price.

Our unintended genius.

Price eliminates waste.

Markets are only human.

It’s hard to find good stuff.

The costs of doing a deal.

4. Killing the messenger.

Zen and the art of price maintenance.

Soldering up the price mechanism.

Wage and price controls.

Controls mess up the market.

Distorting price through subsidy.

That ol’ black market.


I get high prices (with a little help from the state).

Patents and copyright.

Occupational licensure: then……and now.

5. The driving force of competition.

Keeping it in the family.

The joy of voluntary exchange.

Competition spreads the benefit.

Competition on quality.

Why prices aren’t uniform.

Imperfect competition and prices.

How speculators benefit society.

Why markets need entrepreneurs.

Creative destruction.

Perfect nonsense.

6. The rules of the market.

Honesty really is the best policy.

Exchange is built on trust.

Brands communicate trust.

Longevity, solidity and endorsement.

In God we trust - others pay cash.

Setting and enforcing the rules.

The unwritten rules.

Property includes human effort.

Property security is vital to markets.

Property rights are determined by law and convention.

The choice of rules determines the outcome.

The design of auctions.

Markets don’t just happen.

7. Market failure (and government failure).

Bubbles, booms, downturns and depressions.

Markets struggle with human psychology.

Time and speed.

Information asymmetry.

Political failure.

The inconvenient reality.

A market in emissions.

A price on congestion.

Water rights.

Tradable fishing rights.


A shooting market saves game.

8. The morality of the market.

Harnessing self-interest.

Self-interest and greed.

Harmony versus politics.

Unfairness and inequality.

Trafficking and exploitation.

The domination of big business.

Limits to market domination.

The moral superiority of markets.

9. How to grow a market.

Economic achievement gets real.

The triumph of the market?

Handbagging the state.

Recipe for a successful market.

Growing markets over the net.

The question of online trust.

The slow growth of the market in China.

The only real way to wealth.


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