Economic writing after my own heart

I have just learned of a new book that I believe every AB reader could relate to.

DON’T BUY IT: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense about the Economy

by: ANAT SHENKER-OSORIO

An excerpt from the book summary:

This concise, entertaining book shows us how wrong-headed metaphors and deceptive language have muddled our economic thinking, and how better word choice alone can win the debate.
 
Today the term “dismal science” seems almost too kind: too many of today’s economic arguments deserve the mantle of mysticism.
 
Below are a few quotes from a an excerpt of the preface of the book.
 
 
Mainline thinking about the U.S. economy is starting to resemble Scientology: beyond a coterie of high-profile, high-income believers, the more those of us outside the fold learn about the teachings, the wackier the whole enterprise sounds.
 
Members who attempt to leave either orthodoxy—in one case a church and in the other a market-worship orientation—are shunned and ostracized.
 
In a nutshell, the overriding message is twofold: it’s your fault that the Economy sucks, but there’s not much you can do to improve it. This storyline must sound achingly familiar to Christians. The blame for damnation to hell lies with you and you alone. Yet though prayer and piety are good ideas, only God determines who merits redemption. Economic salvation is out of your hands, but that’s no excuse to quit your night job or start spending on luxury items like college.
 
 
I find this next statement most inline with my thinking when for years here at AB I have asked: What do we have an economy for?
 
In most domains, policies must be advertised as serving our national interests, but when GDP talk rolls around, this is no longer the case. We’re here to please the economy, not the other way around.
 
I’ll send this one to my daughter to add to my “gift list”. It’s a list of books she can consider when she wants to give me a gift.

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