[BOOKS] ✴ New Ideas from Dead Economists: An Introduction to Modern Economic Thought ✻ Todd G. Buchholz – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk


New Ideas from Dead Economists: An Introduction to Modern Economic Thought Over 150 Years Ago, Scottish Essayist Thomas Carlyle Dubbed Economics The Dismal Science But It Certainly Doesn T Seem That Way In The Skillful Hands Of Todd G Buchholz, Author Of New Ideas From Dead Economists In This Revised Edition Of A Book First Published In 1989, Economics Is Accessible, Relevant, And Fascinating It S Even Fun For Example, When He Uses The Cast Of Gilligan S Island And Henny Youngman Jokes To Explain Complex Economic Theories Why Not Have The Last Laugh On Carlyle By Using The Dead Economists Themselves To Reverse Their Bad Reputations And To Teach The Lessons They Left To Us Buchholz Surveys And Critiques Economic Thought From Adam Smith S Invisible Hand Of The 18th Century To The Depression Fighting Ideas Of The Keynesians And Money Supply Concepts Of The 20th Century Monetarists He Also Relates Classic Economic Principles To Such Modern Day Events As The Fall Of Communism, The Asian Financial Meltdown, And Global Warming Buchholz Includes Plenty Of Anecdotes About The Lives Of The Great Economists Karl Marx, For Instance, Was An Unkempt Slob David Ricardo, The Early 19th Century English Politician And Economist, Was Among The Rare Economists To Get Rich Trading Stocks And Maynard Keynes Was So Homely His Friends Called Him Snout Here S A Lively And Authoritative Read For Those Interested In The Past, Present, And Future Of Economics Dan RingThe Classic Introduction To Economic Thought, Now Updated In Time For The Publication Of New Ideas From Dead CEOs This Entertaining And Accessible Introduction To The Great Economic Thinkers Throughout History Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, And Shows How Their Ideas Still Apply To Our Modern World In This Revised Edition, Renowned Economist Todd Buchholz Offers An Insightful And Informed Perspective On Key Economic Issues In The New Millennium Increasing Demand For Energy, The Rise Of China, International Trade, Aging Populations, Health Care


10 thoughts on “New Ideas from Dead Economists: An Introduction to Modern Economic Thought

  1. says:

    A comprehensive but ideologically biased economics historyThere are a couple of points that are good to know before you pick up this short economics history First, the title is misleading, it is not new ideas , but just ideas form dead economists Second, it is not only theories ideas , but also biography at least sometimes The latter is where the book fails the most I ll come back to this later.This is a history of ideas book, but it is also a saga of how modern economy the dismal sci A comprehensive but ideologically biased economics historyThere are a couple of points that are good to know before you pick up this short economics history First, the title is misleading, it is not new ideas , but just ideas form dead economists Second, it is not only theories ideas , but also biography at least sometimes The latter is where the book fails the most I ll come back to this later.This is a history of ideas book, but it is also a saga of how modern economy the dismal science came to life This epics starts, naturally, with the Physiocrats and Adam Smith Modern free marketeers and Republicans have taken for themselves Smith s theories They place them in the ideological camp against Big Government But The Wealth of Nations starts with a critique to Mercantilism and its focus on money Wealth, in Smith s view, is productive, not monetary Of course the Spanish Empire learned this the hard way after bringing gold and silver from America This new theoretical framework for wealth is the real revolution One wonders what Smith would have thought of modern finance, with its obsession with paper money and fancy instruments that are several levels of abstraction removed from real wealth In this sense, Adam Smith isof an Economics Theory Foundation figure, and not so much a piece to place on one side or the other of the ideological camp.Buchholz traces how economics develops from this early foundation, explaining Malthus, Ricardo, Alfred Marshal invention of the economic supply and demand curves, and then moving forward to modern economics from Keynes to Behaviorists The book is very successful in presenting all these theories in a coherent framework and a small package.There are, however, two big problems with New Ideas from Dead Economists The first is how biography is misused The book presents mainly ideas, and in most cases biography is used to move the prose forward But when the author doesn t agree with a theory, he spendstime on the economists flaws Marx is portrayed as a drunken, money waster youth, negligent provider for his family I don t see how this is relevant at all in understanding his theories it is a fun story, but that s a different type of book Buchholz critique of Marxism is tinted with this irrelevant biographical information In my opinion, this is not a very honest way of debating economics.The other problem is his uses of examples Marshall is praised with many illustrations that prove him right Malthus, the opposite With almost every economic theory on can find examples to prove or disprove it So one wonders how these examples were chosen, and if this is just confirmation bias on the part of the author


  2. says:

    I fault myself entirely for finding certain subsets of economics rather dull I don t know why, but when I open economics textbooks learning towards econometrics, I am rarely interests Economics boasts mathematical rigor certainly but it s not as if economics is engaged in a kind of pure mathematics quest for Platonic perfection It is highly pragmatic and so doesn t raise metaphysical implications as philosophy and physics do As a social science it involves daily realities and historical cont I fault myself entirely for finding certain subsets of economics rather dull I don t know why, but when I open economics textbooks learning towards econometrics, I am rarely interests Economics boasts mathematical rigor certainly but it s not as if economics is engaged in a kind of pure mathematics quest for Platonic perfection It is highly pragmatic and so doesn t raise metaphysical implications as philosophy and physics do As a social science it involves daily realities and historical contingencies It seems to be muchfruitful to study eternal things And economics is so much a discipline wedded to both time and culture But who could deny the importance of studying economics, as a window to understanding the financial structure of our society, as a conduit for better understanding solutions to global problems And yet, I am often bored I love reading economics journals I love devouring trivia of national GDPs and growth rates, and reading about the current state of world economies But when it comes to studying economic theory, it often feels too much like a needless chore More than anything I ve always believed that engineers and economists businessmen are necessarily at odds with one another Engineers are inventors and creators Economists seem to be the individuals on Wall Street debating how and when to invest in the fruitful products of engineers on the other side of the country I believe it is ultimately my na ve bias regarding this apparent opposition that makes me reluctant to study economics in earnestnessBut I am ready to confront my foolish stereotypes, to recognize that perhaps my disdain for the field comes from dogmatic assumptions that economists are the suited men in high rise NYC apartments with business graduate degrees trying to reap the benefits of the creative genius of an indie programmer on the West Coast Please watch the documentary Inside Job, as it only ever confirmed my stereotypes regarding the pre eminent economists in this country Here is a sample of the Harvard Columbia economists featured now recognize that it is wrong for me to characterize an entire field by a select few people, to disdain economics simply because it has real world values and is not as immutable as metaphysical realism Oh, and how privileged I am to disdain things for being practical in the first place Nor is it fair for me to regard economics as devoid of creativity and passion and to consider esteemed economists of lauded institutions to be people who are otherwise incapable of invention So I admit to all of this I am going to open my mindand discard my assumptions I will try to readeconomics and to not roll my eyes when I read an algebraic equation that precisely describes the culpability of a person according to which a person is negligent if the probable injury to the victim exceeds the cost of avoiding the accident , that is P x L C I ve decided to cast off my obsession with only learning ideas that I consider beautiful I am doubly foolish to act as if learning things that are too worldly will sully me and to suppose that studying economics at all is just one perilous step from becoming an Investment Bank Analyst How different, really, is the study biological or computational systems from the study of systems governing our economic structures Economics is a science of the relationship of individual units to larger systems as much as physics and biologyThe really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the State but the creative, sentient individual, the personality it alone creates the noble and the sublime Yes, we now have to divide up our time like that, between politics and our equations But to me our equations are farimportant, for politics are only a matter of present concern A mathematical equation stands forever Albert Einstein end Platonic rant


  3. says:

    I ve read a few pages of it, and it was promising, and full of joyful small details.One of the Arabic translations has a lot misunderstanding of phrases meaning, though it had checked by a famous Egyptian economist, Hazem EL Beblawy That translation published by academic library Luckily, there is another recent translation by Arabic words , and it was so good I ve read a few pages of it, and it was promising, and full of joyful small details.One of the Arabic translations has a lot misunderstanding of phrases meaning, though it had checked by a famous Egyptian economist, Hazem EL Beblawy That translation published by academic library Luckily, there is another recent translation by Arabic words , and it was so good


  4. says:

    i actually only read 228 pages of this book but i m still marking it as read for compensation of the pain that econ symposiums brought me


  5. says:

    The main premise of the book, is best summarized by the author It is striking that so many of the lessons of the great economists still speak to us Each of their wisest theories has a practical point or analogy today This book seeks their wisdom by looking at mainstream economics and asking, Who first had these insights and built these durable models We can learn from the masters Todd then embarks his readers on a journey through the contributions of the greatest economists of our time Cl The main premise of the book, is best summarized by the author It is striking that so many of the lessons of the great economists still speak to us Each of their wisest theories has a practical point or analogy today This book seeks their wisdom by looking at mainstream economics and asking, Who first had these insights and built these durable models We can learn from the masters Todd then embarks his readers on a journey through the contributions of the greatest economists of our time Clearly explaining how they analysed the existing models and theories of their time, and their own contributions to advance the filed of economics He does so, in a very simple style that is accessible to any audience regardless of their background in that field What truly sets this book apart is the breadth of content, spanning a period of several centuries Sufficient depth is included so that one gains an appreciation and broad understanding The included references make it easy for one to dive deeper intodetails A must read for anyone seeking an introduction and or a broad understanding of the field of economics Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful 1 Russia s 1998 debacle teaches us that a market economy must rest on a dependable legal system A free market does not mean utter chaos it requires ground rules 2 Economics if the study of choice It does not tell us what to choose It only helps us understand the consequences of our choices 3 as an economist isolates causes and estimates their influence, the degree of influence changesEconomics may not be a hard science But that does not mean it is an easy science Because it is so fluid, it is hard to hold in place and to study 4 Smith clearly defined the proper role for government first, providing for national defense second, administering justice through a court system third, maintaining public institutions and resources such as roads, canals, bridges, educational systems, and the dignity of the sovereign 5 The point of Ricardo s analysis free trade makes it possible for households to consumegoods regardless of whether trading partners areor less economically advanced 6 By investing, the capitalist gives up the immediate gratification of buying goods His return on investment pays him for waiting, for delaying his pleasure If everyone consumes everything now, society will produce nothing new Thus, profits play a crucial role 7 four very important areas in which economists have dramatically transformed traditional legal analysis negligence law property law criminal law and corporate finance 8 There is clearlyto economics than prices, profits, rents, and costs Laws, morals, fashions, and philosophies all contribute to an economy They may support it, or they may tear it down 9 What does it mean to be Keynesian Two basis propositions will suffice here 1 the private economy may not reach full employment 2 government spending can spur the economy into filling the gap 10 Keynes cleverly speculates that the way to make money in the stock market is not to be the best corporate analyst, but to be the best at guessing what others think is good 11 This movement, called monetarism, admits that the economy does have an accelerator and a brake, but insists that the accelerator should be marked higher money supply and the brake lower money supplythe monetarists portray the Federal Reserve Boardas the driver 12 With perhaps uncustomary humility, Friedman claims that economists do not know enough about monetary policy to manipulate it wisely 13 We are all Keynesians now, thanks to Keynes We are all monetarists now, thanks to Friedman And we are all eclectics now, thanks to a turbulent world 14 This problem emerges again and again in democracies Motivates organizations trample on the interests of consumers, who individually have a small stake in the outcome Ultimately, the individual consumers are hurt badly as a national efficiency and income fall 15 Rational Expectations theory predicts that government stimulus does not spur the economy and that government contraction does not hurtWhy do most economists tend to agree with Rational Expectations theorists when they talk about the stock market, yet explode in disagreement when speaking of the macroeconomy The fact is, the stock market is aefficientit is quite liquidIn contrast, real markets for goods and services showcomplexity and rigidity 16 each of the economists we have studied, despite their many differences, warned us that governments always face political pressures to take measures that can ruin good economiesBecause even good economic policies often produce victims, economists have a very tough time persuading democratic governments to take good advice Good economics may not be popular economics, especially in the short run 17 Parents must eventually learn to teach their children how to handle uncertainty not how to ensure stability 18 For most of man s life on earth, he has lived no better on two legs than he had on four Give the economist a little credit for explaining and depicting the brief, shining moments when there has been a difference


  6. says:

    A good introduction to economics from a conservative point of view of which I consider myself far from It floored me that this book is genuinely funny So take note writers If this book can be funny, anything can have humour dispersed Ultimately the author achieved his aim of detailing the importance of economics and introductory concepts from the most notable economists Sometimes it dragged during the tougher concepts but I blame the reader.Most egregious parts are 1 The acknowledgement A good introduction to economics from a conservative point of view of which I consider myself far from It floored me that this book is genuinely funny So take note writers If this book can be funny, anything can have humour dispersed Ultimately the author achieved his aim of detailing the importance of economics and introductory concepts from the most notable economists Sometimes it dragged during the tougher concepts but I blame the reader.Most egregious parts are 1 The acknowledgement of damning reports 2nd edition published in 1999 of future environmental degradation that is swiftly dismissed.2 The Karl Marx chapter Annoyed by the double standards when his personal life is eviscerated unlike the other featured economists The author couldn t maintain his general impartiality here and his arguments suffered as a result


  7. says:

    I learned a lot about economics in spite of how poorly written this book was Although the economic schools and personalities were generally organized chronologically, each chapter felt haphazard and unorganized It felt like the author was trying to write a popular economics text la Stephen Hawking for astrophysics, but it came off as your grandpa trying to be cool and hip with the kids these days I lost count of the number of sentences that added nothing to the text and could have been dele I learned a lot about economics in spite of how poorly written this book was Although the economic schools and personalities were generally organized chronologically, each chapter felt haphazard and unorganized It felt like the author was trying to write a popular economics text la Stephen Hawking for astrophysics, but it came off as your grandpa trying to be cool and hip with the kids these days I lost count of the number of sentences that added nothing to the text and could have been deleted Unfortunately, this would have made the book at least a third shorter and publishers probably don t like that There were also so many throwaway lines in which critiques of one school or another were dismissed out of hand with no explanation Left me with the idea that I should just trust the author s opinion on one thing or another with no evidence or support Finally, while I acknowledge the importance of the context of the personalities that developed different schools of thought, the author seemed to dismiss people or ideas based on their character flaws where the time would have been better spent trying to actually explain different conceptsclearly.There HAS to be a better introduction to economic thought that doesn t treat the reader like a small child and actually engages with the ideas in a way that makes themclear and understandable


  8. says:

    Like Empire of Wealth by John Steele Gordon, this is another economics book that is muchinformative and useful than the muchpopular Freakonomics Like Empire of Wealth this is a book about history but this time it s a history of the study and theory of economics from Adam Smith to the end of the 20th Century It is organized like a series of biographies each centering on an influential thinker and how their ideas contributed to all that we now know about economics in a way that is in Like Empire of Wealth by John Steele Gordon, this is another economics book that is muchinformative and useful than the muchpopular Freakonomics Like Empire of Wealth this is a book about history but this time it s a history of the study and theory of economics from Adam Smith to the end of the 20th Century It is organized like a series of biographies each centering on an influential thinker and how their ideas contributed to all that we now know about economics in a way that is informative about intellectual theory but still accessible to a layman like me.I say these thinkers the book is written about contributed to economics but, as readers will notice, it slike up ended Often people criticize economists for discovering obvious things everyone already knows but as I read this book what stood out to me is that every time people think they ve got economics all figured out some smart guy pulls the rug out from under them and shows that everything we thought we knew is wrong and we were all idiots for not noticing it sooner only to have the same process repeated again and again This is a book that will make you feel really smart and informed but also strategically humble


  9. says:

    This book was a good history for laymen of the main ideas in economics I think I need to readeconomics textbooks to know for sure Each chapter was a short biography of the economist in question interwoven with the contributions they made to the field That made the book very approachable.The books lack of differentials is why I gave it 4 5 The only chapter that seemed out of place was the one on Marx I guess the labor theory of value and Das Capital are important historically, but it This book was a good history for laymen of the main ideas in economics I think I need to readeconomics textbooks to know for sure Each chapter was a short biography of the economist in question interwoven with the contributions they made to the field That made the book very approachable.The books lack of differentials is why I gave it 4 5 The only chapter that seemed out of place was the one on Marx I guess the labor theory of value and Das Capital are important historically, but it seemed like they were included just so the authors could show how later economists shit on the ideas Also, like how do people believe the labor theory of value Like there are obviouslyinputs to the value of an object than the labor that went into it The fossil fuel and the technological innovations for instance Anyway, solid book, I learned a lot If you don t know any economics give it a shot


  10. says:

    Provides a good summary of the main ideas of major economists who continue to have extraordinary influence in the field today Also astoundingly and unwittingly biased in its underlying assumptions and viewpoint don t have the book in front of me, but others have offered some good quotes , which makes for great reading if you re paying attention Some of the counterarguments given to criticisms of wage slavery, manipulative advertising, etc are so thin as to be comical Buchholz picks and c Provides a good summary of the main ideas of major economists who continue to have extraordinary influence in the field today Also astoundingly and unwittingly biased in its underlying assumptions and viewpoint don t have the book in front of me, but others have offered some good quotes , which makes for great reading if you re paying attention Some of the counterarguments given to criticisms of wage slavery, manipulative advertising, etc are so thin as to be comical Buchholz picks and chooses which ideas to laud and which to decry, with superficial analogies and examples in both cases Great for reviewing some of the main themes of economics and economic history, but even better for understanding how mainstream economists think about economics, which helps to reveal why we are so entrenched in the current system


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *