ECONOMICS EXPLAINED by Robert L. & Lester C. Thurow Heilbroner


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Co-authors of a widely used college text (The Economic Problem) and a recent guide to our current economic woes (Five Economic Challenges, 1981), economists Heilbroner (New School for Social Research) and Thurow (MIT) are beginning to wear out their easy style. This version of economics-made-simple is intended to be the equivalent of a college text for people who are not in college; but last year's entry served just as well. This longer run-through does go into more depth about what micro- and macroeconomics are--basically, a distinction between the actions of individual buyers and sellers, and large-scale national or governmental money and resource flows--but since the authors are concerned here, too, with explaining inflation, productivity decline, income distribution, etc., the book still revolves around the problem approach. At least Heilbroner and Thurow haven't changed their minds since last year. They still play down inflation (in the interim, the public has joined them in this); maintain that income distribution hasn't changed much; don't think that monetarism--holding the money supply to a fixed rate of growth, as the means to economic growth as a whole--is politically possible (it requires too much faith in the future); and accept some form of Keynesianism on the grounds that governmental economic intervention is a fact of modern life and markets are limited in what they can do (they cannot allocate things that don't have a price tag, like clean air). While last year's book was welcome, this year's is overkill, since nothing significant is added (except, perhaps, for any who skipped the first, the lure of a self-help title).

Pub Date: March 25th, 1982
Publisher: Prentice-Hall