Lessons for the Young Economist

By Robert P. Murphy

Synopsis: An introductory economics textbook, written for the High School aged (but is also appropriate for the adult novice), and written from the free market Austrian School perspective.

Strong Points: This book is excellent for solidifying the fundamentals of economics while at the same time instructing the student in the distinct merits of free market capitalism. A very interesting book about the basics of economics, it is written at an introductory level but is not childish. The reader will be able to develop a sound understanding of the fundamental principles and be able to "think like an economist." It is quite unlike most other textbooks in its message and content. Rather than taking the conventional interventionist view of economics, it takes a free market stance akin to what we would find in the Constitution. It also has lots of interesting facts and discussions in it that you wouldn't find in a normal/mainstream text book, like the nature of money and its origin (p. 99-106), the harmful effects of economic interventionism (beginning p. 255), an in-depth analysis of the economic problems of socialism (p. 221-229), the historical failures of socialism (p. 239-250), the number of people killed by socialism (p. 242-244), frank discussions about the hows & whys of inflation (p. 325-336), the three ways in which government pays for its spending (p. 275), a simple yet solid explanation of the real cause of the boom-bust business cycle (p. 361-369), and the important fact that fascism is actually a form of socialism, not an extreme form of conservatism (p. 241). A great textbook for those who are interested in the topic or perhaps who are looking to homeschool.

Weak Points: I found myself wishing that certain topics had been developed further for the benefit of the readers, such as fractional reserve banking, which was mentioned in passing but not delved into.

Interesting: 3.9/5

Must Read: 2.8/5

Overall: 4/5

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