Economics can explain events in America and the world; here’s where to find those insights

Summary:  Where to go to see how economics can explain what’s happening in the world?  There are no easy answers, but this post provides some tips and leads. 

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Many of today’s political and geopolitical crises have roots in economics.  In response it seems everybody has become a macroeconomist, whether or not they know anything of the subject.  So terms like Keynesian and Austrian get tossed about by people who obviously have no idea what they mean.  For example, Keynes did not advocate long-term government deficit spending — but rather a balanced budget over the full business cycle (i.e., counter-cyclical spending).  As a vital public service in these darkening days here are some recommendations where light can be found.  This was originally posted in February 2010, and revised today.

Contents

  1. The problem, finding light amidst the shadows
  2. Read the originals, the foundational books of economics
  3. Read some books
  4. Read websites run by economists
  5. Fun, informative, easy ways to learn about economics
  6. For more information from the FM site

(1)  The problem, finding light amidst the shadows

Current events have increased the already severe politicization of economics.  Both right and left deploy economists to win support for political policies by indoctrinating partisans in bastardized faux-economics.  Behind there are serious debates among different schools of economics, but the differences between what we know, suspect, and guess are lost in the fervor to gain support.

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