“In spirit, Tamny does for economics what the Gutenberg printing press did for the Bible, making a previously inaccessible subject open to all. Equally important, he does to economists what Toto did to the Wizard of Oz: pulling aside the curtain to expose the fraud that has become modern economics.” —Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media
“Ignore John Tamny’s easy to read Popular Economics at your own moral peril. It’s as close to spiritual as you get in this realm—a better tutorial than any econ text.” - Ken Fisher, Founder & CEO, Fisher Investments
“John’s book is many things. It’s a great way to learn economics, it’s a very strong case for economic liberty, and it is an epic myth-buster. I will be giving it out to friends, of all viewpoints, for a long, long time.” - Cliff Asness, Managing Principal, AQR Capital
In Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics (Regnery Publishing; April 13, 2015; $27.99) Tamny translates the so-called difficult and intimidating subject of economics into plain language, revealing that there is nothing mysterious about finance, commerce, and budgets. In fact, we are all microeconomists in our daily lives.
“Economics is easy, and its lessons are all around us,” says Tamny. “But Americans have allowed the so-called ‘experts’ to convince them they can’t understand, much less grow the economy. Happily, economic growth is simple, too. If you can understand the four basic elements of economic growth—taxes, regulation, trade, and money— prosperity will explode.”
Much like Freakonomics, Tamny uses pop culture and engaging stories to illustrate how understanding our economy is common sense—just look no further than the movies we enjoy, the sports we watch, and what we do every day.
In Popular Economics, you’ll discover:
- How Paris Hilton and the Dallas Cowboys help illustrate good and bad tax policy
- How Facebook and Monday Night Football demonstrate the debilitating effect of antitrust regulation
- How the simple act of cooking chicken wings reveals why the “floating dollar” is a recipe for disaster
- Why Downton Abbey and ESPN are evidence that the U.S. should bulldoze its tax code
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About the Author
Mr. Tamny frequently writes about tax, trade, and monetary policy issues for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, Financial Times, National Review, and London’s Daily Telegraph. He also recently wrote The End of Work.
As a regular panelist on Fox News’ Forbes on Fox, he has appeared as a financial expert on numerous television shows, including Your World with Neil Cavuto, and CNBC’s Kudlow Report.
Mr. Tamny lives with his wife, Kendall, in Washington, D.C.
Table of Contents
Foreword Steve Forbes xi
Part I Taxes
Chapter 1 Taxes Are Nothing More Than a Price Placed on Work 3
Chapter 2 When We Tax Corporations, We Rob Them of Their Future 11
Chapter 3 Government Spending Did Not Create the Internet, and Has Never Created a Job 17
Chapter 4 It's the Spending, Stupid: Budget Deficits Really Don't Matter 25
Chapter 5 Capital Gains Are the Elusive Jackpot That Drive Innovation 33
Chapter 6 The Best Way to Spread the Wealth Around Is to Abolish the Estate Tax 43
Chapter 7 Wealth Inequality Is Beautiful 53
Chapter 8 Savers Are an Economy's Most Valuable Benefactors 69
Chapter 9 Job Creation Requires Perpetual Job Destruction 79
Chapter 10 Conclusion: Bulldoze the U.S. Tax Code 91
Part II Regulation
Chapter 11 Appalachian State Almost Never Beats Michigan, and Government Regulation Almost Never Works 101
Chapter 12 Antitrust Laws: The Neutering of the Near-Term Excellent 117
Chapter 13 Conclusion: Don't Dismiss College Dropouts Delivering Alternative Weeklies 129
Part III Trade
Chapter 14 "Trade Deficits" Are Our Rewards for Going to Work Each Day 135
Chapter 15 Comparative Advantage: Could LeBron James Play in the NFL? 143
Chapter 16 "Outsourcing" Is Great for Workers, and as Old as the Pencil 149
Chapter 17 "Energy Independence" Would Be Economically Crippling: "Global Warming" Is a Crippling Theory 155
Chapter 18 Conclusion: Free Trade Is the Path to Knowledge, Liberty, World Peace, and Big Raises 165
Part IV Money
Chapter 19 A Floating Foot, Minute, and Second Would Give You Ugly Houses, Burnt Wings, and Slow NFL Draft Picks 173
Chapter 20 Do Not Be Fooled by Rising and Falling Computer, Flat Screen, and VHS Prices: They Are Not an Inflation or Deflation Signal 187
Chapter 21 True Inflation Is Currency Devaluation, and It Is a Cruel Blast to the Past 199
Chapter 22 If They Tell You They Predicted the "Financial Crisis," They're Lying 217
Chapter 23 Conclusion: "Do-Nothing" Politicians Deserve a Special Place in Heaven 231
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book was horrible to read. The author was way off to the right politically and it felt the entire book was only focused on bashing the federal government rather than helping people understand economics. There are many schools of thought among economists on how much the federal government should be involved in the economy but this author considers his opinions as being the only explanation for how things work, even if it goes against the grain of what most other economists believe. I'm just glad that I had picked this book up from the local library instead of buying it from the store because it would have only been a waste of money.